Studio Weekend Estimates: ‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’ A Surprise First Place w/ $27.6M; ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ Reaches $23.0M; ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Scares Up $14.0M; ‘Moonlight’ Posts Best Per-Screen Average Of 2016

Lionsgate’s horror comedy Boo! A Madea Halloween surprised this weekend, turning a projected second place debut into a first place one instead with an estimated $27.60 million opening, despite opening in about 1,500 theaters less than its nearest competitor. To put that into perspective, eight of the other nine films in this weekend’s top 10 were playing in more theaters than Boo. This also gives Lionsgate its first box office weekend leader in nearly a year, since The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in November 2015.

The sequel starring Tyler Perry as title character Madea starts 72.4 percent above the $16.00 million opening of the franchise’s previous installment, December 2013’s A Madea Christmas. Boo! marks a return to box office success for the series, after Christmas had posted the inflation-adjusted second-lowest opening weekend and lowest total among the franchise’s six previous films. Boo! has the third-highest opening weekend among the seven Madea films, or fourth-highest if adjusting for inflation, behind 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail, 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion, and 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

The film started with an estimated $9.45 million on Friday (including $855 thousand from Thursday night previews), increased a strong estimated 23.9 percent to $11.71 million on Saturday, and is projected to drop 45.0 percent on Sunday to $6.44 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.92 to 1. That backloaded number, plus the fact that next weekend is Halloween weekend, indicate a likely mild decline for Boo! in its second frame.

The Lionsgate studio — which had produced such box office hits as the Hunger Games and Twilight franchises — had experienced surging box office success in recent years and had even become considered a seventh “major studio” by some, in addition to the longstanding six main studios. But the company had suffered through several box office disappointments in 2016, including Allegiant and Now You See Me 2. As their first weekend leader in 11 months, this may portend a strong end to their year.

What many expected to be this weekend’s box office leader, Paramount’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, instead came in second place with an estimated $23.00 million opening, despite opening in 3,780 theaters compared to Boo‘s 2,260. The action sequel starring Tom Cruise opened 51.2 percent above its predecessor, 2012’s Jack Reacher, although that may not be an apples-to-apples comparison, since the original film opened in December when opening weekends often tend to be depressed. Given its mixed reviews and competition next weekend from Inferno, unless the sequel holds up unexpectedly well it now seems unlikely to match the $80.07 million total of the original, despite the higher opening weekend.

Never Go Back started with an estimated $8.90 million on Friday (including $1.32 million in Thursday night previews), declined less than one percent to an estimated $8.82 million on Saturday, and is projected to drop 40.1 percent on Sunday to $5.28 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.58 to 1.

Universal’s horror prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil came in third place with an estimated $14.06 million, just barely squeaking by last weekend’s leader, Warner Bros.’ thriller The Accountant with $14.02 million. The studio weekend estimates are so close, with the films tentatively separated by only about two-tenths of one percent apart, that the titles could potentially swap rankings when weekend actuals are released on Monday. A similar scenario occurred last weekend, with Kevin Hart: What Now? beating The Girl on the Train by less than one percent in the battle for second place in the Sunday studio weekend estimates; the films indeed swapped places upon release of Monday weekend actuals.

Origin of Evil opened 29.2 percent below the $19.87 million opening of its predecessor, 2014’s Ouija. The original opened atop that weekend’s box office, while the prequel starts in third place in the studio weekend estimates, if not possibly fourth place when it’s all said and done on Monday. That’s a sharp drop and underwhelming for the only major horror release during the month of Halloween, likely a result of the film’s “C” average CinemaScore from audiences. This indicates that Ouija likely won’t become a successful horror franchise like Saw or Paranormal Activity, as Universal may have hoped.

Origin of Evil Started with an estimated $5.51 million on Friday (including $722 thousand from Thursday night previews), saw a nearly-identical estimated $5.52 million on Saturday, and is projected to drop 45.1 percent on Sunday to $3.03 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.55 to 1.

Fox’s action comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses started in a disappointing seventh place with an estimated $5.60 million. The action comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, and Gal Godot wasn’t able to break out of the crowded weekend lineup, with fellow action films — if ones a bit more dramatic in tone — Never Go Back and The Accountant attracting more eyeballs. The film started with an estimated $2.00 million on Friday (including $300 thousand in Thursday night previews), improved 15.0 percent on Saturday to an estimated $2.30 million, and is projected to drop 43.4 percent on Sunday to $1.30 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.80 to 1.

A24’s drama and strong Oscars contender Moonlight had the best limited release opening of the year, starting with $414 thousand in only four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, for an incredible $103 thousand per-screen average. That bests the year’s previous mark on that metric, the $92 thousand per-screen average for July’s Don’t Think Twice.

Pure Flix’s faith-based I’m Not Ashamed, a drama about the Columbine High School massacre, opened to about $900 thousand. Despite only opening in limited release in about 500 theaters nationwide, the result should still be considered a bit of a disappointment.

Open Road Films’ Max Steel continues its negative headlines in its second weekends. Last weekend, it posted the inflation-adjusted eighth-worst wide release opening weekend of all time, starting in 11th place at the box office. This weekend, it drops by an estimated 69.8 percent to $659 thousand and 17th place – one of the worst second-weekend declines for a wide release of the past few years.

The top 10 films this weekend made an estimated $109.37 million total. This represents a 28.6 percent improvement from the $84.98 million total last weekend, and a 21.7 percent improvement from the $89.80 million total on this same weekend last year, when The Martian led the box office for a third non-consecutive frame with $15.73 million. 

Overseas Update:

 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opened to a strong $31.0 million overseas to lead the foreign box office this weekend. Notable grosses include $5.6 million in China, $3.3 million in the United Kingdom, $2.8 million in France, $2.0 million in Australia, $1.9 million in Russia, and $1.5 million in Taiwan.

Sony’s Tom Hanks thriller Inferno continued its overseas dominance ahead of its domestic release next weekend. Last weekend it debuted with a $50.0 million overseas weekend, and this weekend it declines 42.2 percent but still maintains its lead with a $28.9 million overseas weekend in 58 markets. The film has now earned $94.8 million overseas, led by $9.3 million in Italy, $8.2 million in Germany, $7.6 million in Russia, $7.1 million in the United Kingdom, and $6.6 million in Brazil.

Also debuting overseas this weekend ahead of its mid-November domestic is Fox’s animated Trolls, which earned a strong $18.0 million overseas weekend in 14 markets. Notable grosses to date include $6.9 million in the United Kingdom, $4.1 million in France, $2.2 million in Germany, $2.2 million in Denmark, and $2.1 million in Holland.

Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23, 2016:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween $27,600,000 2,260 $12,212 $27,600,000 1 Lionsgate
2 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $23,000,000 3,780 $6,085 $23,000,000 1 Paramount
3 Ouija: Origin of Evil $14,060,000 3,168 $4,438 $14,060,000 1 Universal
4 The Accountant $14,025,000 -43% 3,332 0 $4,209 $47,920,381 2 Warner Bros.
5 The Girl on the Train (2016) $7,270,000 -41% 3,091 -150 $2,352 $58,902,330 3 Universal
6 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $6,000,000 -33% 3,133 -702 $1,915 $74,431,835 4 Fox
7 Keeping Up with the Joneses $5,600,000 3,022 $1,853 $5,600,000 1 Fox
8 Kevin Hart: What Now? $4,110,000 -65% 2,567 0 $1,601 $18,941,645 2 Universal
9 Storks $4,085,000 -28% 2,145 -921 $1,904 $64,714,528 5 Warner Bros.
10 Deepwater Horizon $3,625,000 -43% 2,828 -575 $1,282 $55,270,671 4 Lionsgate / Summit
11 The Magnificent Seven (2016) $2,350,000 -55% 1,979 -1231 $1,187 $89,093,367 5 Sony / Columbia
12 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life $2,265,000 -48% 1,772 -1050 $1,278 $16,974,927 3 CBS Films / Lionsgate
13 Sully $1,600,000 -44% 1,172 -1039 $1,365 $120,963,890 7 Warner Bros.
14 Max Steel $659,126 -70% 2,034 0 $324 $3,410,183 2 Open Road

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Denial $972,940 131% 648 552 $1,501 $1,990,251 4 Bleeker Street
2 The Birth of a Nation (2016) $925,000 -66% 633 -1472 $1,461 $14,190,181 3 Fox Searchlight
3 I’m Not Ashamed $900,000 505 $1,782 $900,000 1 Pure Flix
4 Desierto $474,000 -8% 168 95 $2,821 $1,119,340 2 STX Entertainment
5 Queen of Katwe $380,000 -57% 319 -743 $1,191 $7,754,595 5 Disney
6 Masterminds (2016) $276,800 -84% 520 -1507 $532 $17,054,625 4 Relativity Studios
7 Priceless (2016) $265,300 -62% 294 -9 $902 $1,166,359 2 Roadside Attractions
8 Finding Dory $247,000 -9% 183 -6 $1,350 $485,511,402 19 Disney
9 Snowden $176,591 -43% 156 -187 $1,132 $21,211,841 6 Open Road
10 Blair Witch $125,000 -27% 166 -77 $753 $20,756,048 6 Lionsgate
11 Pete’s Dragon (2016) $119,000 -1% 134 -31 $888 $75,345,871 11 Disney
12 The Dressmaker $115,348 -35% 103 -43 $1,120 $1,561,491 5 Broad Green Pictures
13 Kubo and the Two Strings $71,000 -38% 102 -37 $696 $47,449,116 10 Focus
14 The Light Between Oceans $41,000 41% 100 39 $410 $12,491,260 8 Disney / DreamWorks

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Moonlight (2016) $414,740 4 $103,685 $414,740 1 A24
2 A Man Called Ove $262,770 31% 96 17 $2,737 $802,490 4 Music Box Films
3 Certain Women $157,850 159% 41 36 $3,850 $244,429 2
4 American Pastoral $151,000 50 $3,020 $151,000 1 Lionsgate
5 Hell or High Water $93,000 -44% 87 -101 $1,069 $26,657,772 11 CBS Films / Lionsgate
6 The Handmaiden $91,600 5 $18,320 $91,600 1 Magnolia Pictures
7 Miss Hokusai $71,299 191% 84 82 $849 $105,459 2 GKIDS
8 The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years $69,930 -33% 82 -20 $853 $2,687,449 6 Abramorama
9 Aquarius $55,000 89% 17 14 $3,235 $95,788 2 Vitagraph Films
10 Michael Moore In TrumpLand $50,200 2 $25,100 $64,247 1 Michael Moore
11 Harry & Snowman $42,000 22% 24 8 $1,750 $220,583 4 FilmRise
12 Christine (2016) $37,810 222% 12 11 $3,151 $57,126 2 The Orchard
13 Don’t Think Twice $30,393 -20% 12 -18 $2,533 $4,334,994 14 The Film Arcade
14 In a Valley of Violence $30,000 33 $909 $30,000 1 Focus World
15 No Manches Frida $29,000 -74% 37 -49 $784 $11,461,379 8 Lionsgate / Pantelion
16 Mechanic: Resurrection $26,600 -69% 58 -43 $459 $21,202,215 9 Lionsgate / Summit
17 Florence Foster Jenkins $20,000 -58% 33 -54 $606 $27,370,075 11 Paramount
18 Tampopo $17,200 1 $17,200 $17,200 1 Janus Films
19 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $14,858 -26% 20 -3 $743 $5,190,470 18 The Orchard
20 Tower (2016) $14,303 67% 3 -2 $4,768 $37,641 2 Kino Lorber
21 The Hollars $11,892 24% 45 24 $264 $997,391 9 Sony Pictures Classics
22 Fire At Sea $11,350 2 $5,675 $11,350 1
23 King Cobra $9,500 1 $9,500 $9,500 1 IFC Films
24 We Are X $8,300 1 $8,300 $8,300 1 Drafthouse Films
25 Spices of Liberty $6,625 1 $6,625 $6,625 1 Hannover House
26 The Uncondemned $5,146 1 $5,146 $5,146 1 Abramorama
27 The Greasy Strangler $1,100 -77% 1 -4 $1,100 $39,132 3 FilmRise
28 Demon $927 -65% 3 -3 $309 $99,685 7 The OrchardThe Orchard
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