Weekend Box Office (October 21 - 23, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND Now in his fourth decade of driving hit movies to number one, Tom Cruise leads a four-pack of new releases hoping to give a jolt to the sluggish fall box office. The action sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hopes to be able to capture the top spot aiming to lure in mature adults and the older action crowd. The 2012 predecessor grossed a solid $80.1M during the holiday season and the follow-up comes in October after a string of other star-driven action movies. Competition will keep the grosses in a certain range.
Also the Reacher brand is not one of his top properties and it does not have a sci-fi story that can pull in that audience. Reviews have been mixed which will keep some away too so this one will sell itself entirely on the drawing power of Tom Cruise kicking ass and taking names. Paramount goes very wide into 3,780 locations and could take in about $21M this weekend.
Tyler Perry has not released a film in over two and a half years which is an astonishing gap given that for several years prior he would launch a new film every six months or so. The media mogul unleashes Boo! A Madea Halloween by bringing back his signature character for a new holiday.
The PG-13 comedy will be a test on whether or not his fans missed him during his absence. Madea films tend to score his better openings, but his A Madea Christmas delivered one of his lower debuts with $16M. Landing in the usual 2,200 theaters, Boo! may find itself with $18M this weekend and the best average around hitting the neighborhood of $8,000.
The sequel Ouija: Origin of Evil brings forth what is oddly the only horror film for this year's spooky month of October. A PG-13 rating and good reviews bode well for broad appeal with those looking for a scare at a time when scares are in demand. But consumer interest has been low so it will need a big last-minute spark to excite a large crowd. The previous Ouija debuted at number one this very weekend two years ago just ahead of Halloween with $19.9M. But this feels recycled so a smaller opening is likely. The second Ouija launches in over 3,100 sites and may gross about $13M this weekend.
The spy comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses is not likely to find many takers this weekend. With poor reviews and lackluster starpower, the PG-13 film has never managed to generate much excitement with audiences. Fox opens Joneses in 3,022 locations and could be in for about $7M for the weekend.
The Accountant took the number one spot last weekend and has generated plenty of good buzz, however another star-driven action thriller is entering the marketplace with Cruise taking away some of Affleck's business. Look for Warner Bros. to drop 40% - a good hold - to about $15M for a $48M cume.
Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.
Watch the trailer for Underworld: Blood Wars.
LAST YEAR A lackluster weekend saw The Martian retake the top spot with $15.7M in its fourth frame. More holdovers followed with Goosebumps falling to second place with $15.5M and Bridge of Spies holding steady in third with $11.4M. Vin Diesel saw a mild debut for his new action thriller The Last Witch Hunter which bowed to $10.8M on its way to $27.4M for Lionsgate. Hotel Transylvania 2 rounded out the top five with $8.9M as it neared the $150M mark.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: October 20, 2016 at 4:00PM ET
©1997 - 2016 Box Office Guru