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‘Possession’ remains No. 1

Published: Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Frank Masi)
This film image released by Lionsgate shows, from left, Yu Nan, Terry Crews, Sylvester Stallone, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren in a scene from "The Expendables 2." The veteran action stars of "The Expendables 2" say a stuntman's on-set death served as a reminder of the danger behind building big-screen thrills. Stallone, who also co-wrote the script, told reporters this week in London that there had been deaths during two of his previous films and "it's never easy." (AP Photo/Lionsgate-Millennium Films, Frank Masi)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – “The Possession” occupied the top spot at a nearly comatose box office.

The fright flick with Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the parents of a girl possessed by a demon earned $9.5 million in its second outing, the lowest grossing weekend for the box office this year and one of the worst weekends at the box office in a decade. It marked the first time since 2008 that no film managed to crack the $10 million mark.

The weekend after Labor Day is typically the slowest of the year, but this weekend’s grosses were down 20 percent over last year when “Contagion” opened in first place with $22.4 million. Total box office revenues are estimated at $67 million, which would make this the worst weekend at the box office since the weekend after 9/11 when revenues were $59.7 million.

“There just wasn’t a strong opener,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “We came off a summer that ended with a whimper. There wasn’t any momentum. It just comes down to the movies and the marketplace. There’s wasn’t some extraneous force keeping people out of the theaters. This crop of movies just didn’t have that solid draw.”

The bootlegging tale “Lawless” starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain kept a lock on the No. 2 position in its second weekend with $6 million, bringing its total haul to $23.5 million, while “The Words” featuring Bradley Cooper as an aspiring writer and Zoe Saldana as his girlfriend debuted in third place with $5 million.

A pair of action sequels rounded out the top five films. The ensemble flick “The Expendables 2” earned $4.7 million in its fourth weekend, while “The Bourne Legacy” captured $4 million in its fifth outing at the box office. “Expendables 2” also won $14 million internationally in 23 territories, and “Bourne Legacy” nabbed $13 million in 49 territories.

“2016: Obama’s America,” a conservative film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama’s political views, raised its total to $26 million in its ninth week of release, earning another $3.3 million this weekend. That now makes “2016” the second highest grossing political documentary of all time behind director Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which holds the top spot with $119.1 million.

“The Cold Light of Day,” the weekend’s only other new major release, wasn’t able to see the light of the top 10. The drama starring Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis earned just $1.8 million in the No. 13 spot.

Below “The Cold Light of Day,” an IMAX re-release of 1981’s “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” collected $1.7 million in the No. 14 position. The film starring Harrison Ford as the iconic archaeologist is playing a limited engagement in 267 theaters.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

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