Thriller Possession leads box office

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Los Angeles - Supernatural thriller The Possession ranked No. 1 on US and Canadian box office charts on Sunday, dethroning two-time champ Expendables 2 and setting up for a likely win over the long US holiday weekend.

Possession pulled in $17.7-million in North American ticket sales from Friday through Sunday and was expected to reach $21.3-million on Monday, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. Crime drama Lawless finished in second place, and Expendables 2 took the No. 3 slot.

The political documentary 2016: Obama's America, which dropped from seventh place last week to ninth pulled in $5.1-million over three days as it expanded across the country following a strong showing a week ago. The politically conservative critique of President Obama played in more than 1 700 theatres, up from about 1 100.

Possession is a horror film inspired by a newspaper account of a family that fights a demon known as a Dibbuk in ancient Yiddish folklore. The spirit resides in a Dibbuk box and is said to possess people's bodies with the intention of devouring them.

In Possession, the Dibbuk enters the body of a young woman, leaving her parents to figure out how to stop it. Kyra Sedgwick and Madison Davenport star in the film.

Another new film, Lawless, nabbed $9.6-million at North American (US and Canadian) theatres over the weekend. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke and Tom Hardy as bootlegging brothers in Prohibition-era Virginia.

Updated sales figures for the weekend's movies will come on Monday, when the United States and Canada mark the Labor Day holiday. The weekend typically ranks as one the year's slowest as summer winds down and studios reserve their next big releases for holidays in November and December. - Reuters

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