Lawless opened on Wednesday to mixed reactions and a strong opening. The Possession, the Sam Raimi produced film looks scary and intriguing which has the potential to draw out a huge crowd more so than the R rated Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat. Those are the only films vying for the top spot this weekend. Yeah, sure, For a Good Time, Call..., The Tall Man, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, and Celeste and Jesse Forever will debut in a limited theatrical run or open slightly wider, though none will leave a mark. I don’t see any of these finishing in the first five this weekend. You should just wait to see The Tall Man anyway. No one will see it this weekend, especially if it comes out on DVD on the 25th of September.
And, for a limited set of theaters, The Avengers is back, so go see that.
The Possession has everything a horror junkie would want in a film; demons, young children possessed by demons, a creepy set of posters, trailers, and tv spots, the moniker that it’s based on a true story, and the production is Sam Raimi approved. The film is, of course, not directed by Raimi but instead by Ole Bornedal, a Norwegian director responsible for Nightwatch and the US remake of the same name some years after. No, not the vampire film. He has some thrillers under his belt and anyone who is Raimi approved has my vote. Raimi’s last “horror” film was Drag Me to Hell.
It placed fourth with about $15 million but that was the problem, when it opened in May 2009. The Possession has the graces of opening up in the dog days of summer which may bring in a decent crowd. Last week, The Apparition attempted to make it into the top spot with ghosts and Ashley Greene, and that attempt failed with a debut in 12th place. Last year around this time, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opened in fourth place making about $8 million. But I still think that this will manage to bring in $17.8 million this weekend.
Lawless has been receiving mixed reviews, earning a three from David Hoffman and 65% on RT. From what I hear, the film is flawed and the pacing is out of whack and some actors feel out of place. This film is helmed by Australian director, John Hillcoat who directed The Road and The Proposition. The Road debuted in tenth place back in November of 2009. A great debut for a film playing in just 111 theaters. His other film, The Proposition, debuted at number 46 back in May of 2006 in only three theaters. The film peaked at number 20 when it began a wider theatrical run. So, based on the director, the film is doomed to debut between 10th and 20th place.
However, Bane, Sam Witwicky, Commissioner Gordon and Peter Weyland can prove to be powerhouses this weekend. Not so much for Guy Pearce, however, as Lockout wasn’t a huge smash with audiences. Hardy, LaBeouf, and Oldman have each been in films that were draws and when you bring all three of them together, you may get a smash, but that depends on the material the film stems from. Tinker, Tailor did star Oldman and Hardy together earlier this year as well and with a slow but commanding start with only four theaters, the film peaked in at 9th place the weekend the film expanded. Lawless has 2,888 theaters to pull in reasonable numbers this weekend, and I think the film will earn $14.4 million.
The Expendables 2 loses 21 theaters this week to make room for the newest releases and should place third with a cool $10.7 million.
ParaNorman will round out the first five this weekend with approximately $7.8 million.
Here is the First Five
1. The Possession $17.8 M
2. Lawless $14.4 M
3. The Expendables 2 $10.7 M
4. The Bourne Legacy $8.2 M
5. ParaNorman $7.8 M