The winner of this weekend’s box office was the Lionsgate horror flick The Possession, but it is hard to be enthusiastic about the film winning for the second week in a row. This is the first 3-day in a long while that featured no films breaking past $10 million, and that is signaling that Hollywood could be in store for a repeat of last fall’s horrendous box office performance. For the record, Possession only came up with $9.5 million.
Of course, week-to-week drop-offs are expected so eyes naturally flock to new arrivals. In the weekend’s case, it was The Words from directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Good enough for third place, the $6 million film made $5 million in its first few days of release. This was yet another low-budget offering starring Bradley Cooper taking direction from a friend (the other time being Dax Shepard’s Hit & Run,) and it is safe to say the actor might stick to teaming outside his circle for now on. While it may sound profitable, keep in mind that promotion adds several million to the production cost, making this not a home run.
The star from The Hangover is being criticized for lacking enough star power to drive even the most insignificant films past a $10 million opening. This might just happen again though as David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook puts Cooper alongside Jennifer Lawrence in November, but that is highly doubtful. Should it happen though, it would almost assuredly solidify that the actor’s career hedges on his material and not his abilities.
Beyond The Possession and The Words, there is not much else worth mentioning. Next weekend’s Finding Nemo 3D, Resident Evil: Retribution, and the well-received Paul Thomas Anderson movie The Master (limited release) should all heat up the box office a bit. There is also the Jamie Linden dramedy 10 Years which is another limited release, but it has the white hot Channing Tatum in it. Given Tatum’s newfound A-list status, a good performance in the coming weeks would not be too incredibly shocking.