Here’s your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween – $16.6 million ($52.0 million total)
2. Inferno – $15.0 million ($15.0 million total)
3. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – $9.5 million ($39.0 million total)
4. The Accountant – $8.4 million ($61.2 million total)
5. Ouija: Origin of Evil – $7.0 million ($24.6 million total)
6. The Girl on the Train – $4.2 million ($65.9 million total)
7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – $3.9 million ($79.8 million total)
8. Keeping Up with the Joneses – $3.3 million ($10.7 million total)
9. Storks – $2.7 million ($68.2 million total)
10. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – $2.1 million ($2.1 million total)
The Big Stories
It seems as if the American public finally caught up to what critics have been saying all along about Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. Well, maybe not entirely considering that they gave Ron Howard’s Inferno the exact same “B+” Cinemascore as they gave The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. But they sure did not show up like the globe-trotting symbologist was still a national phenomenon. Global may be another matter — just ask Doctor Strange, which made over $86 million in its international debut.)
The bigger story may be the shocking news that Tyler Perry, whose brand had finally seem to run out of steam, has bounced back to take down films (sequels no less) from two of the biggest movie stars in the world in back-to-back weeks.
I’m Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today!
Sony knew they had a goldmine when they had not only secured the rights to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, but got to double down on that confidence when Tom Hanks and Ron Howard attached themselves. Hanks’ last two (live-action) films, The Terminal and The Ladykillers, did not exactly light up the box office but Da Vinci opened to around just $800,000 less of The Terminal’s entire run. The film finished with a 2.82 multiple of $217.5 million in the U.S. and added another $540 million internationally. Three years later the second adaptation, Angels & Demons, opened to $46.2 million on the same May weekend. It finished with far less in the bank – $133.3 million in the U.S. for a 2.88 multiple and another $352.5 million. That film also had its budget upped from $125 to $150 million, though it was still a sizeable hit for the studio despite the 38.8% & 34.8% drops in its respective U.S. and international totals.
Now comes Inferno, and if this was an SAT question we might answer that it was headed for final grosses of $81.5 million and $229.8 million. A $311 million gross would certainly be another downswing for the franchise, but Sony had the foresight that so many others have lacked as of late. They cut the budget in half. At only $75 million the film roughly only needs around $225 million to break even. Before a dime was even made on Inferno in the States, it had already grossed over $100 million overseas thanks to its release two weeks ago. So it’s profit margin is already pretty much covered, but going forward what does this mean for the film at home.
As hinted at earlier critics were not kind to the film, but this is hardly a big story for this franchise. The Da Vinci Code only had a 25% score at Rotten Tomatoes and Angels & Demons ended up with 37%, so a 20% for Inferno is par for the course for a film that runs out of energy (and sense) very quickly. Of the 36 films since 1999 to receive a “B+” in October, the average multiple is a steady 3.0043 but that would not even get its $15 million opening to $50 million. Films in this realm to open between $10-20 million have a better average multiple of 3.60 thanks mostly to films like Mystic River and Antz. Take them out of the equation and the multiple is still only 3.0498. Boo! A Madea Halloween has already made $52 million and Inferno may not get to that in its entirety. Then again, there was a pretty historic World Series on this weekend that may have enticed a number of moviegoers to stay home. Plus, assuming Inferno does make it to $40-45 million, with $132.7 million in the international bank already it will only need an additional $45-50 million overseas to put itself in the win column.
Tales of the Top Ten
Some moviegoers may have been so desperate to see any kind of horror on this pre-Halloween weekend that they walked into Tyler Perry’s latest without knowing what they were getting into. How else to explain that Boo! A Madea Halloween just had the best drop (41.5%) of Perry’s career (besting Why Did I Get Married?’s 42.9%) and is already over $50 million in its second weekend. Unless some catatrosphic fall happens in the next two weeks, Boo! is going to scare up enough money to become, at the very least, the second highest-grossing film of Perry’s directorial career behind just Madea Goes To Jail. By next weekend the film will be in profit and will likely persuade Lionsgate to continue along this path for at least a few more movies.
Whatever the plus side is for Tyler Perry going forward, it still will not be enough to cover the extensive losses of Deepwater Horizon which was pushed out of the top ten by Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, is still to reach $100 million worldwide and is currently the third biggest bomb of 2016.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, meanwhile, is still yet to reach $40 million. It dropped 58.2% in its second weekend which is the highest drop of Cruise’s career. $39.6 million is less money than Eyes Wide Shut had after its first 10 days and the film is now in danger of not even reaching the $55.6 million of the Stanley Kubrick film which got a “D-“ Cinemascore from audiences and still only dropped 53.2% after opening to just $1.5 million less than Never Go Back. Even if Jack Reacher Deux matches its total it is still going to need about another $86 million from the international crowd otherwise it will go down as a fifth straight loser for Paramount.
Ben Affleck’s Jack Reacher (aka The Accountant) on the other hand is doing just fine. While in kind of the same boat as Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher as it still needs another $96 million to break into the win column for Warner Bros., it has only been released in 10 international territories so far an additional $10.9 million to its U.S. take of $61 million. Compare that to the Edward Zwick film out in 35 international territories and only grossing $31 million thus far.
The studio’s Storks is going to finish its U.S. run with around $70 million and still needs about another $56 million to get to where Clint Eastwood’s Sully is. In profit.
Universal also still has a couple of films in the top ten. It only took $43 million worldwide for Ouija: Origin of Evil to be a hit even if it would take another $25 million to match the success of the original based on their budgets. Expect Ouija 3 to be greenlit any moment now.
There will be no sequel to The Girl on the Train, but it only needs another $12.5 million to be in profit. Weeks ago in this column I said the numbers suggested a final gross around $67 million. It is currently at $66 million and should still have one more week in the top ten before six wide releases in the next two weeks push it out for good.
Fox also has a pair of films on the list though ones with far decreasing returns. Last week’s Keeping Up with the Joneses held on long enough to reach $10 million; the smallest of victories for a film still looking to find about another $105 million. That’s more than Tim Burton’s latest needs, but not by much. With over $232 million worldwide, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is in that Jack Reacher/Accountant territoriy. Though Eva Green’s Jack Reacher is an enticing proposition, Fox has bigger concerns that there is not another $86 million out there to give to this film before writing it off as another loser.
One film that is looking like a winner all around though is A24’s Moonlight. The Barry Jenkins film boasted really impressive numbers last weekend in just 4 theaters and now in its first expansion to 36 it has snagged an additional $900,826. When Hell or High Water debuted in 32 theaters this August it opened to just over $621,000. Be sure to keep an eye on this film and its 99% Rotten Tomatoes score as we head into awards season. It is already looking to become one of the true indie success stories of the year.
– Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
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