By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood September 16, 2012 at 12:58PM
3. The Possession (Lionsgate) - Week 3; Last Weekend: #1
$5,800,000 (-39%) in 2,860 theaters (+26); PSA: $2,028; Cumulative: $41,167,000
Despite competition among horror fans from "Resident Evil: Retribution," this still comes back with another decent weekend, attesting to a solid word of mouth.
What comes next: With a $14 million production cost, this, with most of international still to come, is going to be one of the best returns on investment among studio films this year.
4. Lawless (Weinstein) - Week 3; Last Weekend: #2
$4,219,000 (-30%) in 3,063 theaters (-75); PSA: $1,377; Cumulative: $30,141,000
A very modest decline for this 1930s rural south gangster film, exceeding post-opening weekend expectations.
What comes next: At this point, this could end up nearing $40 million, excellent for this Weinstein acquisition.
5. ParaNorman (Focus) - Week 5; Last Weekend: #5
$3,039,000 (-27) in 2,326 theaters (-843); PSA: $1,307; Cumulative: $49,336,000
For weeks it looked like $50 million was the high end of possibilities for this 3D animated film, but another terrific hold puts it at the brink, with now $60 million looking doable. This has now passed “Moonrise Kingdom” as Focus Features’ biggest release of the year.
What comes next: This steady performance won’t hurt the film’s chance for an Oscar Animated Feature nomination.
6. The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate) - Week 5; Last Weekend: #3
$3,030,000 (-36%) in 2,896 theaters (-364); PSA: $1,046; Cumulative: $80,290,000
Decent hold in week 5, and with foreign more than double this gross, this has now moved clearly into the success level despite the $100 million budget (with $350 million worldwide possible).
What comes next: Who could be added if there is a #3 to sustain the excitement? Harrison Ford perhaps? (Unlikely though.)
7. The Words (CBS) - Week 2; Last Weekend: #4
$2,880,000 (-39%) in 2,801 theaters (no change); PSA: $1,028; Cumulative: $9,160,000
Normal falloff, but with its opening below expectations, this Bradley Cooper Sundance-premiered drama doesn't look like it will be able to sustain many of these theaters much longer.
What comes next: CBS had the best grossing acquisition from last year's Toronto with "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." Going wide from the start, this should soon overtake the much more limited "Beasts of the Southern Wild" in total gross, and, depending also on how well the soon-to-be-released "The Sessions" performs might also be the highest grossing one from this year's Sundance.
8. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) - Week 6; Last Weekend: #6
$2,875,000 (-27%) in 2,170 theaters (-596); PSA: $1,325; Cumulative: $107,800,000
Continuing to hold quite well this late in the run, with only a 27% fall despite losing almost 600 theaters.
What comes next: Although new territories are still opening, this is going to be one high-end action film that will not double the domestic gross internationally, which could make Universal think carefully about continuing this series.
9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Buena Vista) – Week 5; Last Weekend: #7
$2,511,000 (-31%) in 2,415 theaters (-302); PSA: $1,040; Cumulative: $46,284,000
Matinees pushed this into the top 10, but good word of mouth overall is what is keeping this going. This only grossed $10 million its first weekend, which means the final gross will be over five times that total, an unusually high total (the normal industry standard is three to four times opening).
What comes next: This is the rare Disney film with low marketing tie-in potential, but its success could remind producers that a well-made family film can work in theaters even if not part of a franchise, a sequel or animated.
10. The Campaign (Warner Brothers) - Week 6; Last Weekend: #8
$2,405,000 (-29) in 2,002 theaters (-540); PSA: $1,201; Cumulative: $82,857,000
Another modest falloff as yet another film exceeds expectations from its opening weekend.
What comes next: Most of the rest of the world has yet to open, but this is not likely to repeat the success here because of its more U.S.-specific references.