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Box office report: 'Resident Evil' outswims 'Nemo' with $21.1 million; 'The Master' off to record-breaking start

It was a great weekend to be a director named Paul Anderson.

Not only did Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Retribution become his fourth straight Resident Evil film to debut atop the chart; Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama The Master had one of the best opening weekends of all time in limited release.

In first place, Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth entry in the stalwart horror/action franchise, earned $21.1 million — 21 percent less than 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife, which began with $26.7 million. This is the first time that a Resident Evil movie has earned less than its predecessor. The original Resident Evil earned $17.7 million in 2002. Resident Evil: Apocalypse grossed $23.0 million in 2004. Resident Evil: Extinction scored $23.7 million in 2007. Notably, Retribution, which is being distributed in 3-D and IMAX, also sold the fewest tickets of any of the Resident Evil films in its opening weekend.

Sony, who is distributing the $65 million Milla Jovovich (Paul W.S. Anderson’s wife) vehicle under its Screen Gems division, isn’t worried, though. The Resident Evil franchise’s international prospects have grown substantially over the last decade, and with a $50 million international start this weekend, Retribution has a good shot at finishing ahead of Afterlife‘s $296 million worldwide cume. Audiences issued the film a “C+” CinemaScore grade. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Resident Evil: Retribution' wins Friday with $8.4 million; 'The Master' huge in limited release

After a successful opening Friday, horror/action sequel Resident Evil: Retribution is headed for an easy weekend win — the fourth straight number one opening for a Resident Evil film.

Sony’s $65 million Retribution grossed $8.4 million on Friday, 22 percent less than the $10.7 million opening Friday of 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife, which ultimately found $26.7 million over its first three days. Retribution‘s gross puts it on pace for a $22 million weekend, which would be smaller than both 2006’s Resident Evil: Extinction ($23.7 million) and 2004’s Resident Evil: Apocalypse ($23.0 million), but ahead of franchise launchpad Resident Evil, which started with $17.7 million in 2002. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Possession' leads the worst weekend in over a decade

Chances are, you weren’t at the movies this weekend. Not a single film at the box office reached $10 million. Call it the curse of The Oogieloves.

The Top 12 films grossed a depressingly low $51.9 million — the worst Top 12 total since Sept. 5-7, 2008, when Nicolas Cage flop Bangkok Dangerous led the chart with $7.7 million and the Top 12 films earned $50.3 million.

Even more distressingly, this weekend marked the lowest cumulative ticket sales in over a decade. The last frame to notch worse overall ticket sales was Sept. 21-23, 2001 — two weekends after the 9/11 attacks — when only one new wide release entered theaters: Mariah Carey’s infamous bomb Glitter. (Keep in mind, as final weekend results come in on Monday, things could change. Stay tuned.)

Lionsgate’s $14 million horror entry The Possession once again topped the chart with $9.5 million. The film, which earned a “B” CinemaScore grade last week, enjoyed a better than expected hold (it dropped 46 percent) — especially since its debut results were inflated by it bowing on a holiday weekend. After ten days, The Possession has earned $33.3 million, and by the end of its run, it may possess close to $50 million total. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Possession' tops Friday with $2.9 million on an utterly awful weekend

For the second weekend in a row, Lionsgate’s $14 million horror film The Possession will top the box office.

That’s not necessarily a testament to the film’s quality, though — it’s a sign that moviegoers have been trained to avoid the theater in early September, and that this weekend’s newcomers are true box office misfires. In fact, this weekend will likely be the first time in more than a decade (since Sept. 21-23, 2001, when Hardball topped the chart) that the Top 12 movies didn’t cumulatively earn at least $50 million. Heck, they’ll be lucky to make $40 million!

The Possession earned $2.9 million on Friday — a healthy (for a horror movie) drop of 52 percent from its opening Friday. The Possession may scare up about $9 million by Sunday, easily giving it a second weekend in first place and a running total of $32.8 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Possession' enjoys second best Labor Day weekend ever with $21.3 million

Another summer at the movies come and gone, folks.

The season, which kicked off with The Avengers‘ record-breaking bow in May, officially ended this weekend with a record of a very different sort courtesy of The Oogieloves. Fortunately for Hollywood, not every picture performed that badly — in fact, almost none of them did!

Note: This article covers the four-day Labor Day weekend frame. Three-day box office estimates can be found here.

In first place was Lionsgate’s $14 million horror title The Possession, which stars Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film earned $21.3 million over the Friday-to-Monday period, a stronger start than most industry insiders were expecting, and the second best gross ever for a movie over Labor Day weekend (a traditionally slow moviegoing frame) behind 2007’s Halloween, which debuted with $30.6 million.

The Possession benefited from its “inspired by a true events” conceit — a similar tagline helped another demonic film, The Devil Inside, which notably earned an “F” CinemaScore, top the chart earlier this year. Thankfully, audiences enjoyed The Possession a whole lot more than that — it earned a “B” CinemaScore grade. While that’s not likely to helps its box office endurance all that much (horror films typically plummet after they debut), that’s fine given The Possession‘s slim budget. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Possession' wins Labor Day weekend with $17.7 million

Fortunately, almost every movie at the box office did better than The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure did this weekend!

Scaring up better-than-expected numbers, Lionsgate’s $14 million horror entry The Possession topped the box office over Labor Day weekend with a strong $17.7 million from the Friday-to-Sunday period. The studio expects that the film, which earned a “B” CinemaScore grade will earn about $21.3 million through Monday. The picture yielded a sturdy $6,294 per theater average from 2,816 locations.

In second place, The Weinstein Company’s Lawless found a lighter $9.7 million from 2,888 theaters over the three day frame. The Shia LaBeouf/Tom Hardy crime drama, which had already earned $2.1 million on Wednesday and Thursday, now has $11.8 million total. Its six-day gross will likely climb to $13.5 million when Monday’s numbers are accounted. Audiences awarded Lawless a “B+” CinemaScore grade. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Possession' scores $6.1 million out of the box on Labor Day weekend

Not all Americans are spending their Labor Day weekend watching college football or hitting the beach one last time. Some of them — a modest number — are heading to the movies, too.

Haunted horror film The Possession topped the box office on Friday with $6.1 million and should easily win the holiday weekend with about $20 million in four days. The Lionsgate release, which stars Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, will be the first horror film to top Labor Day weekend since The Final Destination in 2009.

The Weinstein Company’s Lawless found a more modest $2.8 million on Friday, and may gross about $11 million by Monday. That would give the Shia LaBeouf/Tom Hardy picture, which opened on Wednesday, just over $13 million in its first six days.

For now, the next two spots on the chart are filled by The Expendables 2 and The Bourne Legacy, which yesterday grossed $2.2 million and $1.8 million, respectively, but there are no numbers yet available for the documentary 2016: Obama’s America, which this weekend expanded into 1,750 theaters and is likely to have earned similar numbers.

There aren’t yet any Friday figures for The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, either. The kiddie movie has a great shot at breaking the record for the worst-ever debut for a film playing in more than 2,000 theaters. In its first two days, it earned just $225,588 total and yielded laughable per theater averages of $47 (Wednesday) and $57 (Thursday).

Check back tomorrow and on Monday for more box office updates, and follow me on Twitter for additional analysis and up-to-the-minute results.

Box office preview: 'The Possession' may possess top spot over Labor Day weekend; 'The Oogieloves' will not

Three new wide releases are entering the marketplace over Labor Day weekend, and one of them could break a box office record!

…for the worst opening weekend ever by a film playing on over 2,000 theaters. The strange kiddie flick The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure opened on Wednesday in 2,160 theaters and earned only $102,564. That’s a per theater average of $47. Yep, FORTY. SEVEN. DOLLARS. in each theater. About six tickets. That’s it. On opening day. Ouch.

Oogieloves, which stars Cary Elwes, Jamie Pressly, and Toni Braxton and somehow cost $20 million (with an additional reported $40 million in marketing costs!), has a solid shot at out-failing the misguided animated film Delgo, which grossed a record-low $511,920 from 2,160 theaters in 2008.

There are two lessons here. First, don’t ever open a creepy kids movie in 2,160 theaters. That number is clearly cursed. Second, I’m a morbid box office nerd who can’t wait to see whether Oogieloves breaks Delgo‘s record. Stick with me throughout the Labor Day frame to find out if it does.

Oh yeah, there are some actual box office contenders opening in theaters, too — namely, Lawless and The Possession. Let’s talk about those.  READ FULL STORY

'Lawless' red-band trailer: Booze, bullets, blood, and bosoms! -- NSFW VIDEO

Before the Internet, it was nearly impossible to get a true sense of what a hard-R rated movie was like from its trailer, which the MPAA insists must be palatable for all audiences. But thanks to the proliferation of the online red-band trailer — which can only be shown in a movie theatre before R-rated movies, and even that rarely happens — we can get a far more accurate idea of what’s in store for a movie like, say, the upcoming Depression-era thriller Lawless, starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Jason Clarke as the bootlegging Bondurant brothers. And indeed, the new red-band trailer makes clear the film, which opens Wed., Aug. 29, is chockablock with confrontations both savage and sexy. Check it out below:  READ FULL STORY

Shia LaBeouf: 'I'm done' making big-budget studio movies

Shia LaBeouf, the star of the billion-dollar Transformers franchise and the one-time presumed heir to Indiana Jones’ fedora, ripped into the studio system of filmmaking and declared his intention to give it up. “I’m done,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist.”

It’s not the first time that LaBeouf, 26, has raised his voice to the movie gods. Two years ago, he told the Los Angeles Times that Steven Spielberg and Co. (including himself) had dropped the ball in the ill-received Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Turns out those comments injured his relationship with Spielberg, who produced several of LaBeouf’s films, including Transformers. “He told me there’s a time to be a human being and have an opinion, and there’s a time to sell cars,” the actor said. “It brought me freedom, but it also killed my spirits because this was a dude I looked up to like a sensei.”

LaBeouf, 26, is promoting the indie, Lawless, co-starring Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, and his upcoming projects are similarly scaled and structured: Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman from music-video director Fredrik Bond, and the soon-to-be-shot Nymphomaniac from Lars von Trier.

Read more:
Shia LaBeouf gets naked in Sigur Ros video
‘Lawless’ preview

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