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THE POSSESSION / LAWLESS Box Office: Weak Labor Day Weekend

The Possession posterThe Possession to Top Weak Labor Day Weekend

For some curious reason, Labor Day weekend is a slow time at the North American box office. Labor Day weekend 2012 will be no exception to that rule. Directed by Ole Bornedal, the Lionsgate-distributed The Possession, not to be confused with last weekend's box office flop The Apparition, is expected to top the U.S. and Canada box office chart — but with a mere $17.5 million over the four-day holiday ($14.4 million three-day). The Possession opened with a quite modest (estimated) $5.5 million at 2,816 locations on Friday, as reported at Deadline.com.

The — huh, based on true story… — tale of a demon-possessed antique box, The Possession features Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Jay Brazeau, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Show, and Rob LaBelle. Sam Raimi of the Spider-Man movies is one of the film's producers. Lionsgate, by the way, will have its third weekend in a row at the top of the domestic box office chart, following two no. 1 slots for the (ultimately, box office disappointment) The Expendables 2, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Liam Hemsworth.

Shia LaBeouf's Lawless no. 2

At no. 2 on Friday, The Weinstein Company's R-rated Lawless, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and opened this past Wednesday in North America, raked in an estimated $2.8m. Directed by John Hillcoat, Lawless is expected to collect a very modest $12.9 million at 2,888 theaters over the four-day weekend ($10.1 million by Sunday evening). By Monday evening, the period bootlegging drama should reach a $15 million six-day cume. Lawless stars the Transformers movies' Shia LaBeouf, The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, Prometheus' Guy Pearce, The Help's Jessica Chastain, and Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska.

The Avengers expands: Will it reach $1.5 billion worldwide?

Also worth noting, Disney / Marvel's The Avengers expands to approximately 1,700 locations this weekend. The Joss Whedon-directed actioner stars Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and scene-stealer Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

With a cume of $1.49 billion, The Avengers is by far the biggest worldwide box office hit of 2012 — though not everywhere. In the United Kingdom, it has been surpassed by Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale / Anne Hathaway's The Dark Knight Rises, while in Germany the no. 1 blockbuster is the French-made François Cluzet / Omar Sy comedy-drama The Intouchables, which has to date grossed more than The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises combined. Take that Hollywood!

2016 Obama's America expands some more: Losing steam

With the Republican National Convention a thing of the past, Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's right-wing documentary 2016 Obama's America is expected to gross $6.8 million over the four-day weekend ($5.4 million three-day). The anti-Obama movie is noticeably losing steam, after having just expanded into 1,750 theaters.

If those early estimates are accurate, 2016 Obama's America's Friday-Sunday per-theater average will remain only slightly above $3,000. Last week, D'Souza and Sullivan's 2016 movie took in $6.5 million at 1,091 locations, averaging $5,966 per site.

Now, remember: those are early, rough estimates. Official studio estimates come out on Saturday; weekend estimates on Sunday. Due to the Labor Day holiday, weekend box office actuals will be released on Tuesday.

And don't forget: Labor Day outside the United States is celebrated on May 1.

The Possession poster: Lionsgate.

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