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BO OCT 21-23

On Friday, we did say that Lionsgate’s latest Tyler Perry movie, Boo! A Madea Halloween, had an outside chance of hitting the spot this weekend, but few could have anticipated its impressive haul of nearly $28 million to hold off Paramount’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back which also exceeded expectations.

Whatever your opinion on Tyler Perry and the quality of his movies, the guy knows how to make theater cash registers sing, and he currently has October’s biggest opening to date. Boo! A Madea Halloween is the fourth biggest opening of the Perry brand and was a big help in propelling the box office up 28% on last week and 19% on the equivalent weekend last year. This is welcome news indeed for a slow month at the box office so far.

Paramount’s Jack Reacher sequel also brought in a significant chunk of change this weekend with $23 million (a 53% increase on the original’s $15 million opening), despite its poor critical reception. As with all the thrillers this month, though, it will face big competition from another one next weekend as the new entry in the Robert Langdon franchise, Inferno, arrives and it could drop off some 60% by next Monday.

Ouija: The Origin Evil from Universal did underperform somewhat in third place, though, with $14 million. But the horror flick has received tremendous reviews and will have a monopoly on the genre in theaters for Halloween weekend this Friday, so a tiny drop off should be expected for it.

The weekend’s other new release, Fox’s Keeping Up with the Joneses, could only muster $5 and a half million to finish in a lowly seventh position. No doubt its poor reviews didn’t help matters but it did play its part in ensuring that new releases this weekend contributed over 60% to the overall revenue.

Despite the box office finally waking from its slumber this week, the big story was the huge success of the critically acclaimed Moonlight. The FOTY contender pulled in a mighty $413,000 from just four theaters in just three days, giving it the highest theater average of the year so far. Expect the Academy to jump all over this come February, not only because of the film’s quality but also because of its relatively unknown black cast and director which should provide a much-needed antidote to the diversity issue that has plagued the Oscars in recent years. We will certainly be hearing a lot more about A24’s awards contender in the upcoming weeks and months.

The top 5 is rounded off by the previous two box offices toppers, The Accountant and The Girl on the Train. Both are looking at solid runs now but their uneasy critical response has quashed any hopes of sleeper hit status that either could have been hoping for.


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