Movies suffer worst box-office slump in a decade

Sun Sep 9, 2012 6:58pm EDT
 
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By Lisa Richwine and Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The North American box office hit a slump at the weekend, with top earner "The Possession" taking in less than $10 million and what could be the gloomiest overall haul since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

With only a couple of new releases to tempt movie fans, horror movie "The Possession" pulled in an estimated $9.5 million in the United States and Canada.

That's the first time since 2008 that no film took $10 million or more at the domestic box office.

Early September is historically sluggish. After blockbuster releases over the summer, Hollywood studios reserve their big films for the November and December holidays.

But revenues for the three-day movie-going weekend were particularly low, with the total gross for all films expected to be $65-$68 million.

If the numbers hold when final figures come in on Monday, it could make the weekend the worst since September 21-23 2001 - two weekends after 9/11 - when revenue topped out at $59.7 million.

"It is pretty scary when the top movie comes in at only $9.5 million," said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst at Hollywood.com.

"This is one of the worst-grossing weekends of the last 10 years. In the summer, single movies had opening weekends bigger than this entire weekend gross," he added.   Continued...