Box Office

Weekend Box Office: The Horror!

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It was a truly scary scene at multiplexes nationwide this weekend as Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Geostorm, Only the Brave and The Snowman all opened in wide release. Of the quartet, only Boo 2! managed to make any sort of impact. The other three bombed in spectacular fashion.

After a record September, October has proven to be a dumpster fire for the movie business. This weekend’s top ten was down a steep 30% from last year at this time when the first Boo! flick arrived with $28 million.

Opening roughly 25% below the opening numbers posted by last year’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, Boo 2! arrived on 2,388 screens Friday where it scared up an estimated $21.7 million. It was the sixth number one opening for a Tyler Perry-directed feature.

Reviews were the norm for a Perry-directed feature: dismal. Boo 2! earned an eight percent approval rating from 12 critics on Rotten Tomatoes –the movie was not screened in advance for the press- and a 17/100 on Metacritic. Still, the Perry fan base showed up in sizeable numbers –they gave the film an “A-“ on CinemaScore- which should help the latest Madea romp become another profitable hit for the filmmaker and distributor Lionsgate.

Another film not screened in advance for critics was the number two film in the country, Warner’s long-delayed Geostorm. The long-delayed $120 million production opened with a dismal $13.3 million from 3,246 theaters. Overseas, where it opened one week ago, Geostorm has brought in $50 million so far.

The disaster film – in more ways than one, apparently- began production over three years ago but found its 2016 release date bounced around thanks to poor test screenings and $15 million worth of reshoots that required a new director –Danny Cannon stepping in for original helmer Dean Devlin- and the help of producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Some in Hollywood were quick to blame the low opening for Geostorm on poor timing following the recent spate of deadly hurricanes earlier this fall. In actuality, they should blame Warner Brothers for the film’s failure. After all, they made the mistake of showing footage from the movie to the general public prior to opening.

After opening with a solid $26 million last weekend, Universal’s low-budget horror flick Happy Death Day slid a steep 64% in its sophomore session where it earned an estimated $9.3 million from 3,298 theaters. After ten days, the $4.8 million Happy Death Day has earned a profitable $40.6 million with a final haul near $60 million possible.

In fourth place was Warner’s Blade Runner 2049. The pricey sequel lost 855 theaters in its third weekend, including most of its IMAX venues. Losing nearly 25% of its screens resulted in a $7.1 million weekend from 3,203 theaters. Off 54%, Blade Runner 2049 has brought in an underwhelming $74 million so far and could wind down with $90 million. Internationally, the film has scored $120 million. China and Japan open the Denis Villeneuve feature next weekend.

Rounding out the top five was the well-reviewed Sony firefighter drama Only the Brave with a dim $6 million from 2,577 screens. The fact-based drama directed by Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) and starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges scored a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73/100 on Metacritic, but it failed to connect with ticket buyers.

  1.  The Foreigner (STX) $5.45 million (-59%); $23 million
  2.  IT (Warner/New Line) $3.5 million (-42%); $320.2 million
  3.  The Snowman (Universal) $3.4 million

Reviews were downright caustic for Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of the Jo Nesbo bestseller starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson and J.K. Simmons. Out of the 123 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, a whopping 112 of them were negative. That resulted in a horrific nine percent approval, which is lower than the RT score for this year’s Transformers: The Last Knight. Let that sink in for a moment.

  1.  American Made (Universal) $3.16 million (-42%); $45.5 million
  2.  Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Fox) $3 million (-44%); $94.5 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of the latest Saw offering Jigsaw, the military drama Thank You For Your Service and the George Clooney-directed Suburbicon. Jigsaw might make a little bit of noise at the box office, but that is about it.

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