Box Office Report: 'Possession' Tops Sagging Weekend

11:03 AM PST 09/08/2012 by Pamela McClintock
Diyah Pera/Lionsgate

Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana's "The Words" stalls Friday at No. 3, Henry Cavill action pic "In the Cold Light of Day" tanks, comes in No. 13.

TORONTO -- The domestic box office was hit hard on Friday by postsummer blues as Lionsgate's The Possession stayed at No. 1 in its second weekend, followed by fellow holdover Lawless.

Possession, from Lionsgate, grossed $2.9 million for a projected $9 million weekend. The pic's domestic gross through Friday is $26.7 million. The Weinstein Co.'s Lawless grossed $1.8 million for a domestic cume of $19.3 million. The prohibition era drama is expected to post a second weekend gross of $5.8 million.

Bradley Cooper-Zoe Saldana drama The Words -- drawing a notably older audience -- opened at No. 3 on Friday, grossing $1.6 million. The movie, from CBS Films, is likely to open to a soft $5 million.

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Receiving a B CinemaScore, The Words skewed noticeably older, with 63 percent of the audience over the age of 35 and 39 percent over the age of 50. CBS Films believes the movie could have strong legs since older moviegoers don't rush out on opening weekend.

CBS Films acquired domestic rights to The Words for $2 million at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

In the movie, Cooper plays a writer who pays the price for stealing someone else's work. Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal make their feature directorial debut with The Words, which also stars Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes and Dennis Quaid.

STORY: 'The Words': What the Critics Are Saying

The weekend's other wide opener is Henry Cavill action pic In the Cold Light of Day, which may not reach $2 million in its debut after grossing roughly $637,000 on Friday and coming in No. 13. Summit and co-financing partner Intrepid Pictures had limited financial exposure on the film, between Spanish production rebates and foreign presales.

Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, Cold Light of Day follows a man whose family is kidnapped by intelligence agents during a weeklong sailing vacation in Spain. The agents are hellbent on recovering a mysterious briefcase, and the husband and father soon finds himself on the run.

Cold Light of Day, also starring Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Echegui and Bruce Willis, cost in the $20 million to $30 million range. Intrepid's Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans produced.

Cooper and Willis also have high-profile films playing at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, which got underway Thursday night with the world premiere of Rian Johnson's Looper, starring Willis opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Cooper stars in two films playing at the festival during the next week: Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines, which premiered Friday night.

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