Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Drops Off a Cliff – Must Be Labor Day

By John Hamann

September 2, 2012

The horror. The horror.

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Ninth is 2016: Obama’s America. The right wing conservative documentary earned another $5.1 million this weekend, as the studio, Rocky Mountain Pictures, added 659 venues. It fell 22%. In terms of per location average, it fell an alarming 51% on a weekend when nothing else in the top ten dropped more than 30% by the same measurement. It now has a cumulative total of $18.3 million. I think Clint Eastwood and the chair he performed with at the RNC might be more entertaining than this, and just as bizarre.

Tenth is Hope Springs with Meryl and Tommy Lee (Jones that is, not the Motely Crue guy). The dramedy earned another $4.7 million and fell a slim 18% compared to last weekend. This $30 million film is turning into a small hit, as it has earned $52.1 million already, and deserves a re-release during the Oscar sweeps.


Finishing outside of the top ten is Oogiegloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, from kids' entertainment creator Ken Viselman. After opening on Wednesday in 17th – despite being out to 2,160 venues – and garnering a venue average of $47, Oogiegloves could only earn $448,131 over the three-day portion of the weekend. Its Friday-through-Sunday per location average of $207 is the lowest ever for a wide release. In earning only $69 per day/per location, the film effectively sold less than nine tickets for the entire day at each venue. Approximately 56,000 people across the country had Oogie Fever this weekend. The rest of North America was apparently inoculated against it. Viselman spent $55 million bringing this one to the screen and marketing it, which has to hurt.

Overall, the box office is plumbing new lows. We are down 6% from last year, as the top 12 films earned only $77.2 million this weekend. This decline can be attributed to soft openers and Oogiegloves basically removing 2,000 venues that would normally earn some money. Last year’s top 12 brought in a much better $82.3 million, thanks to to three openers that earned more than $8 million and the fourth weekend of The Help. Things don’t improve much next weekend. The Cold Light of Day opens with Bruce Willis and soon-to-be-Superman Henry Cavill. If you’ve read the early reviews, you know you are not going. Also opening is The Words, a movie about stealing someone else’s writing.

Top Ten for Weekend of August 31 - September 2, 2012
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Running Total
1 The Possession Lionsgate 17.7 New 17.1
2 Lawless Weinstein Co. 9.7 New 11.8
3 The Expendables 2 Lionsgate 8.8 -34% 66.2
4 The Bourne Legacy Universal 7.2 -22% 96.2
5 ParaNorman Focus Features 6.6 -24% 38.0
6 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Walt Disney 6.1 -15% 35.9
7 The Dark Knight Rises Warner Bros. 5.9 -19% 431.2
8 The Campaign Warner Bros. 5.4 -27% 73.0
9 2016: Obama's America Rocky Mountain Pictures 5.1 -22% 18.3
10 Hope Springs Sony Pictures 4.7 -18% 52.1
11 Premium Rush Sony Pictures 3.9 -35% 12.3
12 Hit and Run Open Road 2.6 -42% 10.0

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