The horror flick produced by
And then there were those poor "Oogieloves." The toddler-aimed film from toy mogul Kenn Viselman earned a dubious distinction this weekend: Its three-day weekend gross of $445,089 marked the lowest opening ever for a movie in wide release. By the end of the day Monday, the movie is expected to collect $601,545 — meaning its per-theater weekend average would be a whopping $278. Oouch.
On the opposite end of the financial spectrum,
"The Possession," meanwhile, scored the second-highest Labor Day opening ever, behind only "
Based on a 2004
Moviegoers gave "Lawless" — about three brothers running a moonshine business during the Depression — a B+. The movie appealed to an older crowd this weekend, as 67% of those who watched the film based on Max Bondurant's popular novel "The Wettest County in the World" were over the age of 25.
Since Wednesday when the film hit theaters, it has collected a total of $15.1 million. The movie's U.S. distribution rights were acquired by the Weinstein Co. for around $5 million at the 2011
That won't be the case for Viselman and his "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure." The movie was financed by the businessman and a small group of private investors for $20 million, and marketing costs amounted to $40 million more.
On Sunday, Viselman attributed the film's embarrassing performance to poor awareness. Viselman, who helped to bring "Teletubbies" to America, said there was a "glitch" with the money for the marketing campaign, which came through far later than expected. However, he remained undeterred, explaining that a second film is already in production — though it may now go straight to home video — with a television program including the characters set to follow.
"For us to spend $40 million to introduce these characters to the world is fine," he said. "I thought I would be calling people toasting with champagne this weekend. I'm upset that some of the reviewers treated this movie for toddlers like 'Gone With the Wind.' The way they're attacking this film, it's like pushing a little old lady in the middle of the street. But this kind of stuff doesn't stop me."
[Updated, 9:38 a.m. Sept. 3: In limited release, the sex phone line comedy
Here are the top 10 movies in the U.S. and Canada, based on their four-day grosses. Percentage drops are based on three-day grosses. International grosses are through Sunday only.
1. "The Possession" (Lionsgate/Ghost House): Opened with $21.3 million.
2. "Lawless" (Weinstein Co./Yucaipa/Revolt): Opened with $13 million. Domestic total since Wednesday debut: $15.1 million.
9. "2016: Obama's America" (Rocky Mountain Pictures): $7.1 million on its second weekend in wide release, down 14%. Domestic total: $20.3 million.