Weekend Box Office Predictions: 8/31/12

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The traditional late August/early September box office lull continues this weekend, as another slate of unimpressive newcomers tries to steal a few dollars away from audiences. Leading the back (presumably) is The Possession, which–slick trailer or not–looks like another repetitive retread on the demonic possession (oh that’s where the title comes from!) genre. All the films this weekend should get a boost from the Labor Day holiday, but as far as holiday box office boosts go, Labor Day is traditionally one of the weakest. The Possession should pull in about 12 million this weekend.

The other notable opener this weekend is Lawless. Shia LaBeouf has his fans and Tom Hardy is hot off The Dark Knight Rises. It’s also the highest rated newcomer (64% at Rotten Tomatoes right now), but that’s not saying much. It opened on Wednesday to a weak 1.1 million. This isn’t the type of film where people will rush out to see it and burn up potential business, so its weekend should rebound. Looking at Hit and Run’s (another movie inexplicably debuting on a Wednesday)opening pattern and applying slightly better multipliers to Lawless gives it an opening weekend in the neighborhood of 9 million.

Finally, we have The Oogieloves in The BIG Balloon Adventure, a film I’ve never even heard of it. So, I’ll predict a debut outside the top ten with a paltry 2.5 million. Moving on the holdovers, The Expendables 2 figures to benefit the most from the Labor Day holiday, as it’s pretty much the only movie still making enough money to garner a noticeable boost. After a steep–though not terrible–drop last weekend, it will definitely stabilize and could make about 9.5 million, good for second place.

The Bourne Legacy continues to underperform, so the holiday is good news for Jeremy Renner and company. It should have a nice hold and pull in about 6.5 million over the weekend. ParaNorman should hold even better, as a kid’s movie, and I think it will just edge out The Bourne Legacy with about 6.8 million.

2016 Obama’s America did well for a documentary last weekend and expands again over the holiday frame, but it becomes increasingly difficult for films like to maintain their audiences even as theatre counts expand. Still, I think it will bump up a little, to the tune of about 7.2 million, as much as it pains me to think that that many people are actually going to see this film. On the opposite end of the quality spectrum (seriously, how similar are Bane and Romney in their “give America [Gotham] back to the people” speeches?) is The Dark Knight Rises, which I think will have one of the smallest declines of the holdovers. The few people who haven’t seen it might turn out now that they have a holiday, so it should make about 6 million.

I guess The Odd Life of Timothy Green is probably going to stick around and, as a feel good family flick, should hold well. Let’s give it 5.8 million. The Campaign will come in a bit behind that, with 5.2 million. And Hope Springs will stick around the top ten one last time, probably pulling in around 4.4 million. Finally, to give you an idea of just terrible last weekend was, even the top opener, Premium Rush, will likely fall outside the top ten this weekend. It debuted so badly it can only sick so much more, so let’s just say a weekend figure of 4 million for the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle.

1. The Possession: 12 million

2. The Expendables 2: 9.5 million

3. Lawless: 9 million

4. 2016 Obama America: 7.2 million

5. ParaNorman: 6.8 million

6. The Bourne Legacy: 6.5 million

7. The Dark Knight Rises: 6 million

8. The Odd Life of Timothy Green: 5.8 million

9. The Campaign: 5.2 million

10. Hope Springs: 4.4 million

11. Premium Rush: 4 million

12. The Oogieloves in The BIG Balloon Adventure: 2.5 million

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