Weekend Box Office: Boo! Madea Beat Jack Reacher And The Joneses

I don’t think anyone was expecting a massive opening for Keeping Up With The Joneses, but Boo! A Very Madea Halloween beating out two separate sequels (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back), one of them another Halloween title (Ouija: Origin of Evil) with a $27.6 million opening is a bit of a shock. This was the largest opening for a Madea movie and it received an A Cinemascore from audiences who deliberately attended a Madea Halloween movie.

As a general rule, the Madea-centric Tyler Perry films do better than the likes of The Family That Preys or Good Deeds, with the obvious exception of the Why Did I Get Married? series which was powered by the likes of Janet Jackson and Jill Scott. Except Madea Goes to Jail ($41 million opening/$90m domestic finish) and A Madea Christmas ($16m opening/$52m domestic finish), the Madea movies open between $21m and $30m and end up with $50-$65m domestic by the end. So it looks like business as usual. [Forbes]

The surprise here isn’t so much that a Madea movie is opening in the high $20 millions, it’s more that audience enthusiasm for Madea movies hasn’t dampened at all.

Jack Reacher Never Go Back, meanwhile, actually outpaced its predecessor’s $15 million opening, though that one rode strong reviews and word of mouth (62% Rotten Tomatoes, A- Cinemascore) to $80 million domestic and so expectations were a little higher this time around. And there’s reason to believe it won’t hold as well, with the $60 million budgeted sequel rating 40% and B+. Though it did earn $31 million overseas, where it has opened in 75% of the markets it will eventually open in. I haven’t seen it, but the craziest thing is that I heard he actually goes back. Box office may have been affected by The Accountant‘s fairly strong second weekend showing, only falling 43% off its opening weekend.

Ouija: Origin of Evil was actually a prequel to the last Ouija movie, with the studio hoping to slake the legendary thirst of slavering audiences of the original. The prequel slaked $14 million worth of thirsts on a $9 million budget and actually received an 81% recommended rating on Rotten Tomatoes — which honestly feels like a misprint. Both the prequel and the “original” received C Cinemascores.

The other new wide release of the weekend, Keeping Up With The Joneses, starring Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Wonder Woman, and Don Draper, looked lame and slid under the radar, grossing just $5.6 million from more than 3,000 theaters. That’s actually less than Masterminds made. It received a B- Cinemascore and rated 17% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Over in the arthouse, Moonlight (my review) opened in just four theaters, earning more than $103K per, putting it in the top 25 of all time. Guess that 99% Rotten Tomatoes rating helped. This weekend brings us Tom Hanks furrowing his brow for all he’s worth in Inferno. That’s the last one of these, right? I hope so.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Boo! A Madea Halloween $27,600,000 $12,212 $27,600,000
2 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $23,000,000 $6,085 $23,000,000
3 Ouija: Origin of Evil $14,060,000 $4,438 $46,558,000
4 The Accountant $14,025,000 (-43.2) $4,209 $47,920,000
5 The Girl on the Train $7,270,000 (-40.6) $2,352 $58,902,000
6 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children $6,000,000 (-33.0) $1,915 $74,431,000
7 Keeping Up With the Joneses $5,600,000 $1,853 $5,600,000
8 Kevin Hart: What Now? $4,110,000 (-65.1) $1,602 $18,941,000
9 Storks $4,085,000 (-28.1) $1,904 $64,714,000
10 Deepwater Horizon $3,625,000 (-43.4) $1,282 $55,270,000

[Chart via ScreenCrush]