No Day Off for Exorcists! The Possession Dominates the Labor Day Weekend Box Office!

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The Apparition Fails to Materialize at the Box OfficeRemember last weekend when I speculated that the box office failure of horror movies released in August/September 2011 might be repeating itself this year? Never mind. Turns out it was just a case of either nobody wanted to see The Apparition or they were all waiting for The Possession.

The Labor Day weekend is typically a low grossing period for the box office, which is why the Sam Raimi-produced exorcism flick The Possession scoring a $17 million opening can be considered a huge success. According to Box Office Mojo, it should do just over $21 million for the four-day holiday, making it the second highest grossing Labor Day weekend opening, second only to the $30+ million taken in by Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007.

Related Story: Is a Re-Possession in Our Future? Sam Raimi Talks Possible Sequel(s) to The Possession

Last weekend’s horror offering The Apparition went from opening outside the Top 10 to falling all the way out of the Top 20. As if last weekend’s 12th place, $2.8 million opening wasn’t bad enough, in its second weekend it dropped so far down Box Office Mojo didn’t even ascribe it a numerical ranking. The $625,000 it made this weekend was less money than The Amazing Spider-Man took in on what is now its 9th weekend and about $71,000 less than the Frank Langella science fiction dramedy Robot & Frank made playing on only 144 screens.

If there’s any solace for the producers of The Apparition, it’s that at least they didn’t produce The Oogieloves movie. The toddler-targeting movie from the creator of “Teletubbies” replaced 2008’s Delgo for the dishonor of worst opening ever for a movie debuting on over 2,000 screens. The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure’s catastrophic $448,000 opening weekend also resulted in a $207 per-screen average, giving it the distinction of being the second worst per-screen average for a wide release opening film, successfully bypassing last year’s stinker Creature in that department. Something tells me The Oogieloves will not be taking to the internet to denounce everyone that bashed their film since they’re all about teaching little kids about love and friendship.

Finally, there’s ParaNorman, which continues its hold on the middle of the Top 10, finishing in fifth place with another $6.55 million and a grand total of $38 million.

Next weekend is traditionally one of the two lowest movie-going weekends of the year, a weekend in which any new release is generally regarded as a total dump by the studio (Sorry, The Words and The Cold Light of Day). In two weeks the Resident Evil franchise takes its latest dump on the box office and will no doubt attract a large number of flies as these films are prone to do for reasons that continue to baffle most of us.

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