Box Office Beat: Weekend of August 31

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatHello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office grosses. With each passing week in August, this piece has become progressively less exciting to write because the movies are total non-events. Only the surprise success of the conservative documentary “2016: Obama’s America” was able to perk me up a bit.

This weekend proves no exception to that rule. Opening in wide release, we have a standard-issue PG-13 horror flick and two Wednesday openers that seem like afterthoughts. September doesn’t look all that much more interesting — at least until the 21st, when the new film starring Clint Eastwood comes out and, undoubtedly, arbitrary connections to his weird Republican National Convention speech tonight will be drawn. But I endure and predict anyway. And at least this weekend has a holiday Monday to spice things up a bit. Let’s crunch four-day some numbers…

The PossessionThe standard-issue PG-13 horror flick is “The Possession,” which was executive produced by Sam Raimi, but don’t expect this to ascend to the box office heights of the 2004 film for which the legendary cult filmmaker also claimed that credit, “The Grudge.” Nope, this is an August horror movie — which is to say, it was rejected from the more sellable October/Halloween heap that “The Grudge” and its sequel fell into. More apt comparisons are “Pulse” ($8.2m opening), “One Missed Call” ($12.5m) and “The Unborn” ($19.8m). The average of those three, $13.5m, is my prediction for Friday-Sunday on “The Possession.” Up that by 20 percent for my four-day Labor Day weekend prediction: $16.2 million.

LawlessNext, there is “Lawless,” the outlaw picture directed by John Hillcoat of “The Proposition”-fame (read our James Frazier’s review here). It premiered to a sturdy but unremarkable $1.14m on opening Wednesday. Given that it targets a similarly adult crowd, I’d anticipate that the movie will have a Wednesday-to-weekend multiplier like “Hope Springs,” which was 6.5x. I’ll up it to 7.0x to account for the additional tickets that will be sold Sunday night due to Monday not being a workday. That’s an even $8m. Tack on another $2.5m for Monday and you get $10.5 million for the four-day holiday.

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon AdventureLast up–and it’s kind of silly for me to even be making a prediction on this given it will not come close to the top 10–is “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure.” As you likely already read in my blog post earlier today, the movie yesterday achieved the worst opening day gross of any 1,000+ theater release in history. The only precedent we have here is “Delgo,” the animated bomb from December 2008, which pulled in a scant $552,000 in its opening four days. Given that this is a holiday weekend, “The Oogieloves” should be able to surpass that figure by a small margin. Nonetheless, anything more than $750,000 on the four-day would be a true feat. Bombs away!

My prediction of what the full four-day top 10 will look like:

  1. “The Possession” … $16.2m
  2. “Lawless” … $10.5m
  3. “The Expendables 2” … $8.7m  -35.2%
  4. “The Bourne Legacy” … $7.9m  -15.4%
  5. “ParaNorman” … $8.2m  -5.1%
  6. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” … $7.1m  -0%
  7. “The Dark Knight Rises” … $7.0m  -3.0%
  8. “The Campaign” … $6.4m  -14.3%
  9. “Hope Springs” … $5.6m  -2.2%
  10. “Premium Rush” … $4.2m  -30.3%