A horror film, THE POSSESSION was about the only bright spot in a dismal little box office weekend as film-goers must have been on vacation, or at least elsewhere, this past weekend. The film grossed an acceptable $17.7 million, which was at least better than the box office flop new Shia Laboeuf film, LAWLESS, which only brought in a dismal $9.7 million this past weekend, ending the actors winning streak of eight hit films in a row at seven.

But, about the biggest news was the huge flop of the children’s film, THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE which played at 2,160 theaters nationwide, only grossing an average of $207 per theater, or just $448,000 nationwide, despite a $20 million dollar production budget. Even preschoolers seemed to say no to this dreck, which now ranks as one of the greatest box office bombs of all time.

And further bad news came as THE EXPENDABLES 2 continued it’s money losing ways despite an all-star cast of aging film stars. The film added another $8.8 million dollars to $66 million it has already made, but needs to do a little better to earn back it’s $100 million dollar budget over the coming weeks. Another film, THE BOURNE LEGACY is still shy of it’s production costs as well, adding another $7.2 million to it’s $96 million dollar gross, but it needs a total of $125 million to break even. Both films should eventually earn back their production costs through further showings and DVD sales. But, both are running closer than they should for perfectly good films.

If anything is a canary in the coalmine of hard economic times, it’s the recession at the movie box office. Many films are still costing more to make than income that they can quickly earn back, making investing in a Hollywood movie even more risky than betting on the ponies.