Hollywood Reels After Lowest US Box-Office Figures Of The Decade

Hollywood has been left reeling after the worst US box-office weekend figures this decade, and one of the worst for 20 years.

Although the start of September is usually a bad one for sales – kids returning to school and the start of the NFL season hit takings, this weekend has been especially bad due to new release ‘The Words’ managing a dismal estimated $5 million, while ‘The Possesion’ held on to top spot but only took $9.5m.

Also underperforming despite favourable reviews was Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy’s gangster flick ‘Lawless’, the movie dropped 40% from its opening weekend figures to just over $6m, although a strong opening Labour Day weekend has helped it to $23m.

It’s a long way from summer blockbusters like ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, which took $160.9m on its opening weekend.

‘The Expendables 2’ also failed to hit the heights of its predecessor, raking in $4.75m to reach a $75.4m total, well down on ‘The Expendables’ $92.5m.

The only August release to break the $100m barrier was ‘The Bourne Legacy’, although even that failed to top ‘The Bourne Identity’s’ $121.7m, a fairly low bar considering the original Bourne film was released a decade ago.

Hollywood Execs will be worried about the figures, resulting from a combination of franchise continuations and reboots not capturing audiences and no smaller dramatic movies breaking out and pulling in large audiences.

After a good start to the year with the blockbuster release of ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, it appears 2012 is tailing off for the movie men, and they’ll hope that a couple of guaranteed big hitters can perk things up in late autumn, as the final part of the ‘Twilight Saga’ and new Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ arrive in November.

PHOTOS: Shia LaBeouf attends ‘Lawless’ screening

 Shia LaBeouf PHOTO Richie Buxo/Splashnews