Years after resigning command of an elite military police unit, the nomadic, righter-of-wrongs Reacher is drawn back into the life he left behind when his friend and successor, Major Susan Turner is framed for espionage. Reacher will stop at nothing to prove her innocence and to expose the real perpetrators behind the killings of his former soldiers.
2016 finally has a real reason to celebrate this weekend. Not every film topped expectations, but the top did enough to overcome any weakness at the bottom. The biggest hit of the week was Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, which beat expectations with $28.50 million. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back had to settle for second place with $22.87 million, which is still better than most were predicting. Ouija: Origin of Evil did well for a movie that cost just $9 million to make, but the less said about the other two new releases, the better. Overall, the box office rose 26% from last week, reaching $124 million. More importantly, the box office was 18% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 extended its lead over 2015 at $8.93 billion to $8.53 billion. Having a $400 million cushion this late in the year is good news, even with The Force Awakens looming in the future.
Hollywood has a habit of underestimating Tyler Perry. When Diary of a Mad Black Woman opened back in 2005, it was expected to struggle to make the top 10, and yet finished top of the chart with a $21.9 million weekend. More than eleven years later, he, or perhaps more accurately, Madea, continues to defy tracking models and rack up wins at the box office, with Boo! A Madea Halloween set to top this weekend’s chart with a projected $27.6 million. That’s nearly $5 million better than the debut of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which Paramount has coming in at $23 million.
It is a busy week as far as wide releases are concerned, although not as busy as we thought it would be at the beginning of the month, as I’m Not Ashamed has dropped to “select cities”. It still has a shot at the top ten, but a slim shot. The biggest release of the week is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as it is opening in an estimated 3,800 theaters. However, the buzz is weak and its reviews won’t help either. It will likely struggle to top $20 million. This gives Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween a shot at first place. The best new release of the week is Ouija: Origin of Evil. One would hope a horror film earning 80% positive reviews ten days before Halloween would at least have a shot at first place. We’ll see. Finally there’s Keeping Up with the Joneses. It’s bad and that’s all I need to say about that. There is good news. This weekend last year was a disaster. The biggest wide release was The Last Witch Hunter and it earned less than $11 million. The biggest film was The Martian, which earned under $16 million. We could have two films top $20 million, so 2016 should end the slump it has been in.
There are five films opening wide or semi-wide next week. Of those, only Jack Reacher: Never Go Back has a realistic shot at first place. Because of that, it is the only real choice for the target film in this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
We are back to the usual Halloween Trick or Treat prizes. After determining the three winners, two will be given horror movies, the “Treats” while the third will be given a movie so bad it is scary it was made, the “Trick”.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will be one of three winners.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will be the second of three winners.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will be the third of three winners.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September is over and we should all be glad about that. Unless the final weekend brings a surprise $100 million hit or two, 2016’s lead over 2015 will shrink over the month. There were some bright spots, most notably Sully, which will be the biggest hit of the month. On the other hand, we had more outright bombs than even midlevel hits. Sadly, October isn’t much better. There are a couple of films that could be $100 million hits, but most of the films will struggle to become midlevel hits. Both Inferno and The Girl on the Train are aiming for $100 million. One of them might get there too. If both get there, then October will be seen as a success. By comparison, last October was led by The Martian; however, because of a misalignment in the calendar, The Martian’s opening weekend actually lines up with the final weekend in September. It had great legs, so that will help 2015 early in the month, but the rest of the month was terrible last year and I think 2016 will come out ahead as a result.
The shaded area represents the expected performance range for a film, based on its opening weekend box office. 95% of films fall within the shaded area. If a film trends towards the top end of the shaded area, it has good legs compared to the average film; if it trends towards the bottom end of the shaded area, it has poor legs. The predictive area is based on movies from the past 5 years.
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