LOS ANGELES - "The Possession" occupied the top spot at a nearly comatose box office.
The fright flick with Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the parents of a girl possessed by a demon earned $9.5 million in its second outing, the lowest grossing weekend for the box office this year and one of the worst weekends at the box office in a decade. It marked the first time since 2008 that no film managed to crack the $10 million mark.
The weekend after Labor Day is typically the slowest of the year, but this weekend's grosses were down 20 percent over last year when "Contagion" opened in first place with $22.4 million. Total box office revenues are estimated at $67 million, which would make this the worst weekend at the box office since the weekend after 9/11 when revenues were $59.7 million.
In this undated publicity photo released by Lionsgate, Natasha Calis stars as Em in the film, 'The Possession.'
"There just wasn't a strong opener," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "We came off a summer that ended with a whimper. There wasn't any momentum. It just comes down to the movies and the marketplace. There's wasn't some extraneous force keeping people out of the theaters. This crop of movies just didn't have that solid draw."
The bootlegging tale "Lawless" starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain kept a lock on the No. 2 position in its second weekend with $6 million, bringing its total haul to $23.5 million, while "The Words" featuring Bradley Cooper as an aspiring writer and Zoe Saldana as his girlfriend debuted in third place with $5 million.
A pair of action sequels rounded out the top five films. The ensemble flick "The Expendables 2" earned $4.7 million in its fourth weekend, while "The Bourne Legacy" captured $4 million in its fifth outing at the box office. "Expendables 2" also won $14 million internationally in 23 territories, and "Bourne Legacy" nabbed $13 million in 49 territories.
"2016: Obama's America," a conservative film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama's political views, raised its total to $26 million in its ninth week of release, earning another $3.3 million this weekend. That now makes "2016" the second highest grossing political documentary of all time behind director Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," which holds the top spot with $119.1 million.
"The Cold Light of Day," the weekend's only other new major release, wasn't able to see the light of the top 10. The drama starring Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis earned just $1.8 million in the No. 13 spot.
Below "The Cold Light of Day," an IMAX re-release of 1981's "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" collected $1.7 million in the No. 14 position. The film starring Harrison Ford as the iconic archaeologist is playing a limited engagement in 267 theaters.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Possession," $9.5 million ($3.5 million international).
2. "Lawless," $6 million ($1.4 million international).
3. "The Words," $5 million.
4. "The Expendables 2," $4.7 million ($14 million international).
5. "The Bourne Legacy," $4 million ($13 million international).
6. "ParaNorman," $3.8 million ($2.4 million international).
7. "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," $3.6 million.
8. "The Campaign," $3.5 million.
9. "The Dark Knight Rises," $3.3 million ($13 million international).
10. "2016: Obama's America," $3.3 million.
Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:
1. "The Expendables 2," $14 million.
2. (tie) "The Bourne Legacy," $13 million.
2. (tie) "The Dark Knight Rises," $13 million.
3. "Brave," $10.3 million.
4. "Raaz 3," $8.9 million.
5. "Prometheus," $8.5 million.
6. "Ted," $6.4 million.
7. "Total Recall," $5.4 million.
8. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," $4.9 million.
9. (tie) "Step Up: Revolution," $4.3 million.
9. (tie) "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," $4.3 million.
10. "The Amazing Spider-Man," $3.8 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.