It's Schluufy's birthday, and the Oogieloves (Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie), along with their friends J. Edgar, Windy Window and Ruffy, are organizing a party. (Shh! It's a secret.) Everything is going along just perfectly until J. Edgar trips and loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville--OH NO! The Oogiloves set out to find the magical balloons in time to save their friend's party. Along the way, they meet some very interesting characters indeed, including Dotty Rounder, Bobby Wobbly, Milky Marvin, Rosalie Rosebud and Lola and Lero Sombero. Can these new friends help them recover the magical balloons and get back to the cottage in time to celebrate Schluufy's surprise birthday?
Yuck. The overall box office this past weekend was not only the worst of the year so far, but it was the worst we've seen in more than a decade. Not only did the box office have a decade of inflation, but also a decade of population growth, which makes this result even more depressing. The Possession was the only bright spot in the top ten. Both The Words and The Cold Light of Day missed the Mendoza Line during their opening weekend. Overall, the box office plummeted 35% to just $67 million. Compared to last year, the box office fell by 17%. It's a disaster. 2012 is still ahead of 2011 by 3.3% at $7.70 billion to $7.45 billion. Things will have to get better next weekend, so hopefully we will never have to think about this weekend again.
There's good news and bad news for the Labor Day long weekend. Overall, the box office was a little stronger than predicted with The Possession having the second best Labor Day long weekend opening of all time. (Only Halloween had a stronger opening.) This helped the overall box office rise 7.0% from last weekend to $104 million. However, despite this performance, the overall weekend was softer than last year down 2.5% over the three-day portion of the weekend and 3.3% over the four-day portion of the weekend. Year-to-date, 2012 still maintains a lead of 2011 at $7.61 billion to $7.34 billion. The lead is down to 3.6% in terms of revenue and just 2.4% in terms of tickets sold. We might see a further drop in attendance, which would be a huge collapse after an incredibly strong spring and early summer.
Labor Day weekend is traditionally the slowest holiday weekend at the box office, so it comes as no surprise that the overall chart looks fairly weak. However, Possession is set to produce a very credible box office number, with Lionsgate estimating $17.725 million through Sunday and comfortably over $20 million for the full 4-day frame. That's hardly blockbuster level, but is considerably better than consensus predictions coming in to the weekend. Another opener, Lawless, is well behind, with Weinstein predicting $9.7 million for the Friday-Sunday portion of the weekend. Far, far behind that is this weekend's other new wide release, The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, which is headed for about $450,000 from 2,160 theaters and will end up in the record books for one of the poorest openings in history.
It's the Labor Day long weekend, a weekend that a lot of families like to spend outdoors, or on a last minute vacation before school starts. It is generally a bad time to release a film, but three films hope to outperform the historical averages for the weekend. I don't think it will work. The Possession could win the weekend, but Lawless also has a shot. The other wide release, The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, doesn’t have a shot at top spot. It doesn't have a shot at the top ten. It does have a shot at breaking records, on the other hand. As for the holdovers, The Expendables has a shot at the threepeat, but that would be really bad news for the overall box office. Speaking of which, last year, none of the new wide releases were able to crack $10 million, which left The Help in first place. I don't think any film this year will top that film's weekend haul, but overall the depth is better this year and perhaps we can eke out a win in the year-over-year comparison.
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