THIS WEEK’S TOP PICK
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
With the box office looking to clean house this weekend after a slow first half of the month, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back will be seen as the vanguard this weekend but it seems destined to limp its way to the front.
While the first Jack Reacher was reasonably well received by being seen as a throwback to the masculine action picks of earlier era’s such as Point Blank and Death Wish, the titular tough guy doesn’t seem so welcome this time around as Never Go Back is currently scaling at only 39% on rottentomatoes.com. Though poor reviews don’t always hinder an action flick, they don’t help them either and audiences familiar with the source material have never really bought Cruise as Reacher (the character is a veritable giant in the books, whereas Tom needed a box to stand on to kiss his ex-wife Nicole Kidman). The sequel is coming across as a tough sell in a month already littered with disappointing thrillers, so it’s unlikely to be a huge hit as it stands.
Never the less, Never Go Back should reach the top spot by Monday with a haul of slightly under $20 million, putting it just above the $15 million opening of its predecessor, but it will face some serious competition from more seasonal offerings.
BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS
Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween maybe getting appalling reviews (a horrible 18% on rottentomatoes.com currently) but that has never scared Perry’s audience before and it’s pretty much nailed on the finish second over the weekend, with an outside chance of reaching the top spot. The Halloween comedy is nailed on to hit around $17 million so its position will depend entirely on how well Never Go Back performs.
Ouija: Origin of Evil signifies the first major horror release this month and is being very well received indeed with an impressive 80% on rottentomatoes.com. With a dearth of horror this Halloween season, it’s tempting to say this could surprise the analysts and outperform all other releases this week; however, this horror prequel will be severely hampered by the terrible first entry in the series which was universally panned. That said, the film’s trailer is terrific and very much evocates the tone of the horror juggernaut franchise, The Conjuring, so it still could shock the box office standings come Monday. More likely, though, is that it will open at around $15 million and look to have a minimal drop off for Halloween weekend next Friday.
This week’s other wide release is 20th Century Fox’s ensemble comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses. Despite its appealing cast featuring John Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, and Gal Gadot, it will have to battle with its awful reviews to make any kind of headway this weekend. Projections are around $6 million for its weekend take which makes it unlikely to break into the top 5.
In terms of holdovers, The Accountant should finish the weekend in fourth with a 50% drop off after its surprise $24 million take last weekend. And The Girl on the Train will most likely round off the top 5 with a similar drop off to generate about $7 million.
Overall, while the box office will still seemingly be deprived of a bonafide hit again this weekend, the new releases should notch up some $60 million cumulatively and start pushing revenues up for the month. This will be welcome news for theaters who have so far struggled to attract audiences in October.