The North American box office hit a slump at the weekend with top earner The Possession taking in less than $10 million. That’s the first time since 2008 that no film took $10 million or more at the domestic box office.
With only a couple of new releases to tempt movie fans, horror movie The Possession pulled in an estimated $9.5 million in the United States and Canada.
Early September is historically sluggish. After blockbuster releases over the summer, Hollywood studios reserve their big films for the November and December holidays. But revenues for the three-day movie-going weekend were particularly low, with the total gross for all films expected to be $65-$68 million.
If the numbers hold when final figures come in on Monday, it could make the weekend the worst since September 21-23, 2001 — two weekends after 9/11 — when revenue topped out at $59.7 million.
“It is pretty scary when the top movie comes in at only $9.5 million,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst at Hollywood.com.
“This is one of the worst-grossing weekends of the last 10 years. In the summer, single movies had opening weekends bigger than this entire weekend gross,” he added.
However, Dergarabedian said hope was on the way next week with the next instalment of the Resident Evil horror franchise and the re-release of Disney/Pixar’s 2003 family film Finding Nemo, this time in 3D.
This weekend’s lows follow a mixed summer that saw blockbusters like The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers but a number of flops that led to a five per cent drop in summer ticket sales in North America compared to summer 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.