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Box office preview: 'The Words' won't bring in the numbers over the slowest frame this year

For the first time in four years, it seems likely that no movie will pass $10 million at the box office this weekend.

The last time that happened? The weekend after the Republican and Democratic National Conventions wrapped in 2008, when Bangkok Dangerous topped the chart with just $7.8 million.

CBS Films’ third release this year (after The Woman in Black and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), The Words, a romantic thriller starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, has the best shot at (very) modest success. The title, which was made for a reported $6 million and is opening in 2,801 theaters, should do better than Cooper’s recent flop Hit and Run, which opened with $4.5 million, but it likely won’t reach as high as Saldana’s last leading effort Colombiana, which found $10.4 million in its opening weekend.

The rumored real-life romantic ups and downs¬†of Saldana and Cooper may be the film’s biggest selling point — it’s certainly a sexier angle than the plagiarism plot line. Poor early reviews, coupled with a generic title and blah visuals, will keep many moviegoers at bay. Bradley Cooper looked like he may be a Limitless star last year when his action flick opened with $18.9 million, but The Words may open with a decidedly more limited $7.5 million.

The week’s other wide release is Summit’s long-on-the-shelf The Cold Light of Day, which is finally opening on this, the slowest weekend of the year. The thriller, shot for $25 million and co-financed by Intrepid Pictures, will be lucky to start with $3 million from 1,511 theaters. Fortunately, Summit didn’t put much money into advertising the film, which stars future Man of Steel Henry Cavill and Sigourney Weaver, after it underperformed at the international box office with $13.1 million.

With those films headed to soft business, there’s a chance that The Possession could take No. 1 once again — a rare feat for a frontloaded demonic tale. The Possession may drop by about 60 percent from its three-day debut of $17.7 million, which would yield about $7.1 million this time around. If it can manage a slightly better hold, it should take out The Words.

Are you headed to the box office this weekend? If so, what do you plan on seeing?

For more box office coverage, and up-to-the-minute results, follow me on Twitter.

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