Historically Labor Day weekend has never been all that great when it comes to box office and I certainly don’t expect anything to change now. Anyway, in wide release we have three new films this week, Lawless, The Possession and Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure, this last one in particular could even break a few records.
Produced by Sam Raimi, director of the Evil Dead and previous Spider-Man trilogie, The Possession comes from Lionsgate. This horror starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) has probably the best chance to finish the weekend on top, mostly thanks to the lack of any other real contender out there. Drag Me to Hell, another horror from Sam Raimi, opened to $15.8 million back in May 2009. Since The Possession has Labor Day weekend to work with, I’ll go a bit lower, $13-14 million for the 3-day weekend. But keep in mind, there is a possibility that this little film could break out and gross quite a bit more than that.
Lawless is an R-rated crime drama from The Weinstein Company starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce among others. This one opened on Wednesday to just $1.1 million from 2565 theaters. With such a start, the best this film could ever hope to make is a modest $10 million or so over the normal weekend and maybe 12 million over the long 4-day Labor weekend.
Former leader The Expendables 2 could be the film that benefits the most from this weekend. The flick starring a long list of action stars from the last four decades should bring in $8 million over the normal weekend and as high as $10 million for the long 4-day Labor weekend. In 2009 The Expendables made $8.3 million over the long 4-day weekend in its 4th week, so The Expendables 2 should have no problems topping that in its 3rd weekend.
Hit documentary 2016 Obama’s America is my pick for 4th place. This one has been doing exceptionally well and might be able to pull off $6-7 million which would bring the flick close to the $20 million mark by Monday. Either way in less than a week 2016 Obama’s America will become the 2nd highest grossing political documentary of all time in North America.
Rounding out the top 5 should be either The Bourne Legacy or ParaNorman, each with $6 million or so.
But hey, it’s not over yet, remember I said Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure could break a few records this weekend? Well you might be wondering how that is even possible since I can’t even see this kids flick in the top 5. Unfortunately records go both ways and Oogieloves might be looking at one of the worst wide opening weekends of all time. See, this film opened on Wednesday, like Lawless, but unlike that film it only made $0.1 million from 2160 theaters for a horrible $47 theater average. Even with the most discounted ticket prices I can think of, no way there were more than 7 people on average in a theater for this on Wednesday. I wonder who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to release this wide.
Next week Bruce Willis, Henry Cavill (the new Superman) and Sigourney Weaver star in The Cold Light of Day and Bradley Copper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons and Denis Quaid in The Words, so expect another slow weekend at the box office.