Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
September 4, 2012
Kim Hollis: The Possession, the first eBay auction ever adapted into a feature film, opened to $17.7 million (over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend). What do you think of this result?
Matthew Huntley: Two somewhat opposing words come to mind: impressive and unsurprising. They're opposing because you wonder, how can something be impressive when it's unsurprising? Anyway, hear me out: The Possession's opening was impressive because it opened over Labor Day weekend, which, as we all know, is the slowest movie-going weekend of the year. The fact that it will top more than $20 million over the four days and cover its production budget (estimated at $14 million) in parallel already makes it a winner, even if it does collapse by next weekend. What's also impressive is that it had no real stars in it, so the studio was able to sell it mostly on concept/idea alone.
What makes it unsurprising is that it's another one of those devil-takes-over-someone's-body movies, or at least I think it is (I've yet to see it), and it's another one claiming to be "based on a true story." These are always an easy sell (just look at The Devil Inside) and tend to have one solid weekend to themselves before they quickly fade away.
So, on the one hand, the movie's opening is good for the industry; on the other, it's the same old story given the idea/genre.
Edwin Davies: Matthew's hit the nail on the head on this one. This is a better result that might be expected given how barren this weekend tends to be, yet given the genre and style of the film this success shouldn't be surprising to anyone. It's, at best, doing very well against incredibly low expectations. Then again, for a film with such a tiny budget that should be more than enough, even if it disappears from theaters and the public consciousness within the next couple of weeks.
Jason Barney: I am a little surprised by this result, as horror films have not done well over the last couple of months. The Apparition opened last weekend and it didn't even make the top ten. Way back in May we had the Chernobyl Diaries and that film barely made a mark at the box office. So to have The Possession open at $17.7 million and take the number one slot for the week is a bit of a surprise. Perhaps it goes along with the leaves starting to change. Maybe it's the Halloween candy ending up in the stores.
It is not a huge win, but if it only took $14 million to make this film, Lionsgate has to be happy. From here on out they will be making money on this one, and they have to be happy about their timing and recent performances. Sure, it is one of the dead weekends for movies, but with Expendables 2 still sitting at #3 for the weekend, they can claim to have the #1 and #3 movies. Small victories, but other studios like Universal would be begging for those sort of results right now.