Bradley Cooper & Henry Cavill movies: Opening weekend one of the worst in two decades
Sept. 9, '12, update: The studios have released the box office results – or rather, estimates – for this weekend's moviegoing attendance in North America. Okay, so it's not a catastrophe akin to the record-breaking melt of the polar ice caps, but it was a catastrophic weekend at the U.S. and Canada box office all the same.
If studio estimates are accurate, the Sept. 7-9 weekend is by far the worst of 2012 – the top twelve movies grossed about $30 million less than the previous Worst 2012 Box-Office Weekend, Aug. 24-26. And if inflation is taken into account (as it always should so as to better reflect the actual number of tickets sold), it's also one of the very worst of the last two decades: Adjusted for inflation, this weekend's estimated $51.28 million total is the lowest for the second weekend in September since 1991 – the year Kenneth Branagh / Emma Thompson's Dead Again topped the domestic box office with $4.36 million (approx. $8.3 million today) at 789 theaters.
Box office: No movie above $10 million for the first time in four years
For the first time since the Nicolas Cage bomb Bangkok Dangerous opened with $7.78 million (approx. $8.69 million today) in September 2008, no movie managed to earn more than $10 million in the United States and Canada. Among the top twelve movies, none boasted a per-theater average above $5,000 and only one – Lionsgate's horror thriller The Possession – had an average above $2,000 (an estimated $3,352 per venue to be exact).
The Words, The Cold Light of Day bomb
Once again, if studio estimates are accurate, two new wide releases, Bradley Cooper / Zoe Saldana's mystery / romantic drama The Words (with $5 million at 2,801 locations, no. 3 this weekend) and Henry Cavill / Bruce Willis' virtually unmarketed thriller The Cold Light of Day (with $1.8 million at 1,511 locations, no. 13), have delivered two of the worst wide-release opening weekends ever (once again, if inflation is taken into account).
Adjusting for inflation the Box Office Mojo chart, the Summit Entertainment release The Cold Light of Day had one of the worst 50 wide release openings of the last three decades, averaging a paltry $1,176 per venue. With $1,763, CBS Films' The Words is no. 125 on the chart. (Another 2012 Bradley Cooper movie, Hit and Run, is no. 89, with $1,558.)
Box office: Movies down sharply, low per-theater averages
With the exception of the Will Ferrell / Zach Galifianakis satirical comedy The Campaign (and new entry The Words), every single movie among the top twelve was down 40 percent or more compared to last weekend. Steep drop-off rates despite the fact that four movies added theaters, including sizable increases by both John Hillcoat / Shia LaBeouf / Tom Hardy's bootlegging drama Lawless (250 venues) and Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary 2016 Obama's America (270 venues).
Even the George Lucas / Steven Spielberg / Harrison Ford 1981 adventure classic Raiders of the Lost Ark, beloved by zillions and all, was a box office disappointment. If studio estimates are accurate, the Best Picture nominee grossed only $1.72 million (no. 14 on the chart) at 267 (pricier) IMAX locations, averaging a so-so $6,461 per site.
Late summer box office curse?
But is the second weekend in September cursed? Well … Steven Soderbergh's all-star disease drama Contagion, featuring the likes of Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, and Gwyneth Paltrow, opened with $22.4 million last year. Milla Jovovich's Resident Evil: Afterlife grossed $26.65 million in 2010, while Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself collected $23.44 million in 2009. In 2007, Russell Crowe / Christian Bale's 3:10 to Yuma opened with $14.03 million (approx. $16.3 million today), and in 2005 The Exorcism of Emily Rose had an excellent $30.05 million debut (approx. $37.6 million today).
So, the answer is no. Though historically a weak weekend, situated between the end of summer and the beginning of the fall/awards season, there's no Second Weekend in September Box-Office Curse. What happened this year is that Hollywood studios and independent distributors released movies people didn't want to watch.
Bradley Cooper / The Words fail to top box office chart
The Possession, Ole Bornedal's horror flick featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, was the top movie at the North American box office this dismal Sept. 7-9 weekend – one of the worst box office weekends of the last two decades. According to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo, the Lionsgate release took in an estimated $9.5 million (cume: $33.34 million), once again performing above expectations. (Image: Bradley Cooper The Words.)
Following two no. 1 slots for The Expendables 2 and one for The Possession, this weekend has granted Lionsgate its fourth consecutive domestic box office crown.
At no. 2 this weekend was John Hillcoat's bootlegging drama Lawless, starring the Transformers movies' Shia LaBeouf and The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy. The Weinstein Company release also featuring Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska and The Help's Jessica Chastain raked in an estimated $6 million (cume: $23.52m).
The no. 3 movie was new entry The Words, starring The Hangover's Bradley Cooper and Avatar's Zoe Saldana. The CBS Films release collected a paltry $5 million at 2,801 locations. The Words was followed by the Sylvester Stallone / Jason Statham / Liam Hemsworth actioner The Expendables 2 with $4.75 million (cume: $75.41m).
At no. 5 was the Tony Gilroy / Jeremy Renner thriller The Bourne Legacy with $4 million, and a cume of $103.7 million. The only other top-twelve movie with a cume above $100 million is Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale / Anne Hathaway's The Dark Knight Rises, with $437.84 million.
Weekend box Office: The Dark Knight Rises, 2016 Obama's America very close
Rounding out this weekend's top twelve movies were the following: at no. 6, ParaNorman with $3.86 million (cume: $45.09 million), followed by The Odd Life of Timothy Green with $3.65 million (cume: $43 million), the Will Ferrell / Zach Galifianakis political satire The Campaign with $3.53 million (cume: $79.47 million), and The Dark Knight Rises with $3.285 million.
Also: Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary 2016 Obama's America with $3.281 million (cume: $26.08m) at no. 10, followed by Meryl Streep / Tommy Lee Jones / Steve Carell's Hope Springs with $2.8 million (cume: $57.51m) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Premium Rush with $2.3 million (cume: $16.73m).
Needless to say, there'll likely be some switching around when box office actuals are released on Monday. Estimates for The Dark Knight Rises and 2016 Obama's America were particularly close.
Not on Top Twelve chart: The Cold Light of Day, Raiders of the Lost Ark
And if box office estimates are accurate, neither the upcoming Superman Henry Cavill / Bruce Willis thriller The Cold Light of Day nor the IMAX rerelease of George Lucas / Steven Spielberg / Harrison Ford's Raiders of the Lost Ark cracked the top twelve box office chart. At no. 13, new entry The Cold Light of Day opened with an abysmal $1.8 million at 1,511 sites. At no. 14, Raiders of the Lost Ark grossed $1.72 million at 267 (costlier) IMAX locations, averaging a so-so $6,461 per venue.
On September 18, “Indiana Jones: The Complete Collection,” which includes 1981 Best Picture nominee Raiders of the Lost Ark, will be out on Blu-ray.
Bradley Cooper The Words photo: CBS Films.
Henry Cavill The Cold Light of Day photo: Summit Entertainment.
Sept. 8 afternoon
Bradley Cooper The Words: This weekend's other box office misfire
Bradley Cooper, whose Limitless was a moderate hit a year ago and whose The Hangover movies are worldwide blockbusters, now has his second 2012 box office bomb in a row (following Hit and Run about two weeks ago): according to estimates found at Box Office Mojo, at no. 3 in 2,801 North American theaters on Friday, The Words collected only $1.6 million – slightly below the very lower end of expectations. (Image: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana The Words.)
Co-starring Avatar's Zoe Saldana, the critically panned mystery / romantic drama – 18 percent approval rating and 5/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – should end up grossing a measly $4.5-5 million over the weekend, or about $1-2 million below expectations and a per-theater average of less than $2,000. Though that's a terrible opening, it's stellar compared to that of the Henry Cavill vehicle The Cold Light of Day. Well, perhaps not that stellar: in terms of per-theater averages, if estimates are accurate The Words will end up with one of the lowest ever for a movie in wide release.
The Words to recover its budget?
CBS Films, whose two other 2012 releases to date are Salmon Fishing in Yemen and the Daniel Radcliffe thriller The Woman in Black, reportedly acquired The Words for $2 million at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, The Words has its budget pegged at $6 million, which means the film, though undeniably a box office bomb, could eventually recover its production costs once worldwide and ancillary revenues are tallied. (At this stage, it's unclear whether or not The Words will reach the necessary $13 million or so to break even at the worldwide box office, i.e., without the assistance of ancillary revenues.)
The Words cast
Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana The Words photo: CBS Films.
Box office results: 2012's worst weekend?
Box-office results this weekend (Sept. 7-9) will in all likelihood not only be the worst of 2012, but also one of the very worst – if inflation is taken into account – of the early 21st century. That bad? That bad. In fact, two new releases, Bradley Cooper / Zoe Saldana's The Words and Henry Cavill / Bruce Willis' The Cold Light of Day, are expected to deliver two of the worst wide-release opening weekends ever (once again, if inflation is taken into account). [Photo: Harrison Ford Raiders of the Lost Ark.]
According to studio estimates, the top movie on Friday was a holdover, the horror flick The Possession, featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. As reported at Box Office Mojo, the Lionsgate release took in an estimated $2.87 million, once again performing above expectations. Yet, barring a major Saturday surge, the film is expected to earn only $7.5-8 million. On the positive side, Lionsgate may continue its domestic box office winning streak – for the fourth weekend in a row.
At no. 2 on Friday was another holdover, John Hillcoat's bootlegging drama Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. Lawless collected an estimated $1.77 million and should rake in $5-5.5 million for the weekend.
The Words bombs
Bradley Cooper's The Words was no. 3 on Friday and will likely fail to reach even $5 million, followed by the Sylvester Stallone / Jason Statham / Liam Hemsworth actioner The Expendables 2, which should be the weekend's no. 4 movie with approximately $4.5 million (Friday take: $1.31m.)
Rounding out this weekend's top five movies with somewhere between $3.8-4.2 million should be one of four movies: ParaNorman, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, the Tony Gilroy / Jeremy Renner thriller The Bourne Legacy, and the Will Ferrell / Zach Galifianakis political satire The Campaign.
Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX screenings
Also worth noting is that 267 IMAX venues are showing the George Lucas-produced, Steven Spielberg-directed 1981 blockbuster and Best Picture nominee Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen. Considering costlier IMAX tickets, Raiders of the Lost Ark collected a somewhat disappointing $438k on Friday and may fail to crack the top twelve box office chart.
On September 18, “Indiana Jones: The Complete Collection,” which of course includes Raiders of the Lost Ark, will be out on Blu-ray.
Sept. 8 early morning
Henry Cavill The Cold Light of Day box office: less than $2m?
Henry Cavill will soon be known as Man of Steel's Clark Kent / Superman. For the time being, however, Cavill remains known as one of the actors in the small-screen series The Tudors and as one of the stars in Tarsem Singh's period fantasy Immortals. Rest assured that Henry Cavill will not be known for The Cold Light of Day. (Image: Henry Cavill shirtless The Cold Light of Day; check out Cavill dressed up as Superman.)
According to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo, the Spanish-set (and mostly Spanish-made) thriller took in an embarrassing $637,000 at 1,511 North American locations on Friday, averaging $422 per site. Distributed by Summit Entertainment, which has opted to keep the film a secret by doing little-to-no marketing, The Cold Light of Day may end up earning less than $2 million by Sunday evening.
If that prediction pans out and inflation is taken into account, The Cold Light of Day will end up delivering one of the worst opening-weekend box office performances ever for a movie in wide release. Henry Cavill stars as a Wall Street trader whose family is kidnapped by intelligence agents in Spain.
The Cold Light of Day budget, cast
Reportedly budgeted at $25 million, The Cold Light of Day has to date earned only $13.1 million internationally (according to figures found at Box Office Mojo). If those figures are accurate, in all likelihood this Henry Cavill vehicle will end up very much in the red even after ancillary revenues are tallied. Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, among whose credits is the Jean-Claude Van Damme self-parody / reflective drama JCVD, The Cold Light of Day also features Bruce Willis (as Cavill's father), Veronica Echegui, Sigourney Weaver, Caroline Goodall, Roschdy Zem, and Joseph Mawle.
Henry Cavill shirtless in The Cold Light of Day: Summit Entertainment.
Bradley Cooper / Henry Cavill box office misfires: The Words, The Cold Light of Day
Bradley Cooper and Henry Cavill are both good-looking men associated with blockbusters: Cooper has The Hangover movies; Cavill is the star of blockbuster-to-be Man of Steel. The Words, starring Cooper and Zoe Saldana (the leading lady in another blockbuster, James Cameron's Avatar), and The Cold Light of Day, starring Cavill, may already be called “career missteps” – much like Cooper's other mid-2012 box office bomb, Hit and Run. (Image: Bradley Cooper The Words.)
The Words possibly to top one of the worst weekends of the last decade
The Words may or may not lead the first “official” fall movie-season weekend. Either way, not a single movie is expected to gross more than $10 million between Sept. 7-9, which should be 2012's worst weekend at the North American box office – and, if inflation is taken into account, one of the worst of the last decade or so as well.
At 2,801 theaters, The Words will be fighting it out with last weekend's no. 1 hit, Lionsgate's horror flick The Possession. Both are expected to rake in anywhere between $6-7 million by Sunday evening. (The Words' Friday take: $1.8-2.5 million.)
CBS Films reportedly acquired The Words for $2 million at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, the dark romantic drama cost a reported $6 million. Also in the cast: Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes and Dennis Quaid.
Henry Cavill's The Cold Light of Day to collect less than $5m
At 1,511 locations, Henry Cavill's Spanish-set (and mostly Spanish-made) The Cold Light of Day, which also features Bruce Willis, Veronica Echegui, and Sigourney Weaver, is expected to gross a measly $2-3.5 million, after debuting on Friday with $700,000-$1 million. The $25 million Mabrouk El Mechri-directed thriller has to date earned $13.1 million internationally, according to Box Office Mojo.
Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX screenings
Also worth noting is that this weekend 267 IMAX venues are showing the George Lucas-produced, Steven Spielberg-directed 1981 Best Picture nominee Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen. On September 18, “Indiana Jones: The Complete Collection” will be out on Blu-ray.