Weekend Box Office: America embraces exorcisms, repels the horror of The Oogieloves
Briefly freed from the drudgery of their jobs, but still bound by man's innate need for routine, America did its begrudging duty and saw another horror film about a ghost or exorcism or something, making The Possession the No. 1 film in the nation. The Possession—in which a malevolent Jewish spirit passive-aggressively terrorizes a poor family, asking, "Oh, you want I should leave now?"—managed to earn $21.3 million, despite being the year's biannual "exorcism" movie and boasting a title so indistinguishable from last week's The Apparition, I initially started this sentence joking about Ashley Greene being terrorized by gray blurs, before double-checking my work revealed that somehow they are not the same movie. (After checking again, they are still not the same movie.)
No such sense of obligation attended Lawless, which eked out a second-place finish of $13 million despite Shia LaBeouf's admirable attempts at realism—including actually traveling back in time to the 1930s and wearing a vest. Still, that's a fairly respectable number for one of the traditionally slowest weekends of the year, as is the $8,087 per theater average nabbed in limited release by For A Good Time, Call… (Though honestly, it's possible the producers also could have made that much by having Ari Graynor actually man a phone sex line.)
And of course, this weekend anything looked good next to The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure: The story of three jaundiced, hydrocephalic nightmares hoping to retrieve some magic balloons before they explode in a geyser of bile achieved the worst wide-release debut for a movie ever, taking in just over $600,000 to open at 29th place. This despite being the brainchild of a "marketing visionary," whose forward-thinking idea to make the $60 million Oogieloves an "interactive experience"—in which children are encouraged to sing and dance along with the screen, and parents are encouraged to not just abandon them at the theater and start a new life somewhere—truly may one day be hailed by future civilizations. But in this primitive age, it was regarded as the makings of an awful afternoon, with its $278-per-theater take confirming that less than 30 people at each screening recognized marketing "vision" when they saw it. To put it in Oogieloves terms, it was dismayeriffic. Disasterliciousness. Sparklesomeone'sgettingfiredatastic.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.