Box Office Report: 'Possession' Overperforms, Eyes $21.3 Mil Labor Day Debut

9:30 AM PST 09/02/2012 by Pamela McClintock
Diyah Pera/Lionsgate

John Hillcoat's Prohibition-era drama "Lawless," starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf, is holding at No. 2; "Oggieloves" bombing.

Horror pic The Possession -- inspired by films including The Exorcist -- is scaring up good business at the domestic box office, where it's poised to capture one of the top Labor Day openings of all time.

The Sam Raimi-produced pic topped the three-day holiday box office with an estimated $17.7 million. Lionsgate is estimating a $21.3 million four-day gross (companies will report full weekend numbers Monday morning).

VIDEO: 'The Possession': From Exploding Lights to Burning Props, What Spooked the Cast

Halloween is the top Labor Day opener of all time, bowing to $30.6 million in 2007; Transporter 2 is No. 2, grossing $20.1 million in 2005.

Possession, starring Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Natasha Calis, cost in the low- to mid-teen millions to produce and was directed by Ole Bornedal.

The PG-13 film received a B CinemaScore and played heavily to girls and younger women, whom Lionsgate targeted. Females made up 59 percent of the audience, while 54 percent of those buying tickets were younger than 25. The film also is over-indexing in Hispanic Catholic markets.

Overall Labor Day revenue will end up virtually on par with last year, thanks to the strength of moviegoing.

Between Possession and holdovers The Expendables 2, Lionsgate titles claim 26 percent of the holiday marketplace.

STORY: How 'Lawless' Nabbed New A-Listers Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain

John Hillcoat's Prohibition-era drama Lawless, which opened Wednesday, is holding safely at No. 2, grossing $9.8 million for the three-day weekend. Projections show the film finishing Labor Day weekend with a solid six-day opening in the $14.5 million to $15 million range.

Lawless, from The Weinstein Co., stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska.

Anti-Barack Obama documentary 2016: Obama's America should finish the Labor Day holiday with a domestic total of roughly $20 million, the fifth-best domestic cume for a political doc.

Kids entry The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure continues to fare dismally. The independently financed film opened Wednesday and should finish the holiday weekend with a six-day debut of roughly $700,000 from 2,160 theaters -- the second-worst debut of all time for a pic opening in that number of theaters. That's a per-theater average of $324.

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