Hollywood's disappointing summer extended into the first full weekend in September. With uninspiring new releases like "The Words" and "The Cold Light Of Day" in theaters alongside a slew of mediocre holdovers, box office revenues were at post-9/11 lows. Friday-to-Sunday ticket sales were estimated between $65 million and $67 million according to THR, marking the worst combined weekend total since Sept. 21-23, 2001 when films earned just $59.7 million
"The Possession" was the number one choice for the second week in a row, grossing $9.5 million. It's the first film to lead the box office with less than $10 million since "Bangkok Dangerous" was the top earner during this weekend in 2008. "Lawless" earned the number two position with $6 million, while "The Words" opened in third place with $5 million. Not that the film was expected to be a blockbuster, despite famous faces like Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana: The CBS Films release was produced for $6 million.
"Nobody picks the first weekend of September because they think it's going to be a huge gross," Steven Friedlander, executive vice president of theatrical distribution for CBS Films, told the Los Angeles Times. According to Friedlander, the hope for early September releases is that small films will find an audience through word of mouth.
That won't the case with "The Cold Light of Day." Despite stars Bruce Willis and Henry Cavill, the action film finished in 13th place with $1.8 million grossed from 1,511 screens. By contrast, the IMAX re-release of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" grossed $1.75 million from just 267 IMAX venues.
For more on the lackluster weekend, head over to THR.