Following the least-attended summer at the movies since 1993, Hollywood studios continued to weather poor box office on Friday. The lousy numbers could result in the first weekend since 2008 with no films earning over $10 million in ticket sales.
For the second weekend in a row, "The Possession" led the way, earning $2.8 million on Friday night. That puts the Lionsgate horror film on track for almost $10 million, reports TheWrap. "Lawless" was in the runner-up position with $1.7 million on Friday, ranking slightly ahead of new release "The Words." The CBS Films release, with Bradley Cooper in a starring role, was never designed to earn major box office and could gross as much as $7.5 by Sunday night.
Not faring nearly as well was "The Cold Light of Day," a thriller starring Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis. The film won't even crack the top ten for the weekend after earning just $637,000 on Friday.
Of course, no one should be too surprised at the depressed numbers, especially during an election year. The weekend of Sept. 5, 2008 was the last time no films grossed over $10 million. (The Nicolas Cage bomb "Bangkok Dangerous" topped the charts back then, with just over $7 million in sales.) Like this year, that weekend fell immediately after the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Not that this weekend was always destined to be a dog. Warner Bros. had "Gangster Squad" scheduled for release on Sept. 7, but had to adjust those plans after the massacre of 12 people at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo. back in July. The film will now arrive in January.
For more, head over to TheWrap.
[Numbers via Box Office Mojo]
'The Amityville Horror' and Remake (1979 | 2005)
<strong>The Story:</strong> Rondald DeFeo bizarrely murders his whole family; a year later George and Kathy Lutz move into the DeFeo house and experience paranormal terrors. <strong>The Facts:</strong> The real priest who claimed to be assaulted by a paranormal presence has flip-flopped over the years, on whether he actually stepped foot in the house or not. Local Native American leaders dismissed that the house was built on a burial ground. When the Lutzs sued several authors and publications for misappropriation of their story, the judge threw their case out, claiming they were being coerced by Ronald DeFeo's defense lawyer, William Weber, into fabricating the whole thing. Weber later told <em>People Magazine</em> that it indeed was a hoax. No future tenants have ever reported any strange occurrences.
'The Mothman Prophecies' (2002)
<strong>The Story:</strong> Richard Gere stars as John Klein, a reporter investigating the urban legend of the Mothman and the creature's connections to his wife's death and a catastrophic unexplained bridge collapse. <strong>The Facts:</strong> The bridge collapse was explained: the 40-year-old bridge did not receive proper maintenance and its eyebar supports could not handle the increasing weights placed on it. No Mothmen have ever been accurately documented.
'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' (2005)
<strong>The Story:</strong> The courtroom thriller examines the mysterious death of Emily Rose, who was allegedly a victim of demonic possession. <strong>The Facts:</strong> The real Emily Rose -- a German Catholic woman by the name of Annelise Michael --was treated for epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia. She and her family rejected many treatments, claiming she was possessed. She passed away after a year of religious rites left her with extreme malnourishment and dehydration. Two year after her death, her body was exhumed when her parents claimed that a nun received a vision that Michael's body was still intact, This turned out to be not true.
'An American Haunting' (2005)
<strong>The Story:</strong> A young woman in the present day is plagued by a terrifying dream; her mother then discovers letters indicating they live in the house previously owned by a young woman in the 19th century, that was terrorized by the Bell Witch of folklore. <strong>The Facts:</strong> Most accounts of the Bell Witch's attacks have been lost to time. Historically, the poltergeist was theorized to be nothing more than a local schoolteacher who worked with several people to scare a family. The 21st century connection never happened anywhere. Ever.
'Wolf Creek' (2005)
<strong>The Story:</strong> British tourists are tortured in the Australian countryside by a sadistic Outback madman, who vanishes into the night. <strong>The Facts:</strong> The specific scenes of torture were never actually commited by a mysterious man who got away. The script was inspired by two of the most infamous -- and convicted -- killers in Australian history.
'Primeval' (2007) | 'Rogue' (2008)
<strong>The Story:</strong> Two giant man-eating crocodile movies, based on two giant man-eating crocodiles! (One in the Republic of Burundi, one in Australia) <strong>The Facts:</strong> "Primeval" is based on Gustave, an extremely rare big-ass croc. The numbers of his human death toll have never been properly documented outside of local legend. Due to the turbulent political-economic situation in the country, filmmakers and scientists have never been able to study the animal longterm. All of the movie's marketing -- in trailers and posters -- failed to mention it was about a crocodile, when describing the "at-large, most prolific serial killer in history." "Rogue" was based on a giant crocodile named Sweetheart that attacaked some boats in the '70s, but never actually killed anyone. <em>Come on! </em>
'Them' (2006) | 'The Strangers' (2008)
<strong>The Story:</strong> In the French film "Them" (a.k.a. "Ils"), a couple is attacked by several hooded children who have a penchant for killing people that don't play with them. In the American "The Strangers" (<em>that's so totally not a ripoff you guys</em>) a young couple is attacked by masked grown-ups who have a penchant for killing people because they were home. <strong>The Facts:</strong> "Them" is based on one isolated incident of teenagers attacking a vacationing couple -- and aged the killers down for the movie. "The Strangers" is based off an incident from the screenwriter's childhood, involving a neighborhood robbery, and the notorious Manson family.
'The Haunting in Connecticut' (2009)
<strong>The Story:</strong> A family moves into a former mortuary, renovated as living quarters that are better situated for taking care of their cancer-stricken son. Paranormal forces subsequently attack the family. <strong>The Facts:</strong> The family who claimed their house was plagued by demons had their accounts verified by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators/authors/TV personalities that verified the supposed Amityville hauntings. The Warrens co-authored an account with horror novelist Ray Garton, who dismissed the book and stated the family was suffering through drug and alcohol addictions, and constantly changed their story.