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Weekend Predictions: Halloween Scares Away New Releases

October 30th, 2014

Nightcrawler poster

Tomorrow is Halloween, which is one of the worst days of the year as far as box office numbers are concerned. I would argue only Christmas Eve is worse. Nightcrawler is the only truly wide release of the week, but it is not expected to be a hit. It will likely earn first place, but with only around $10 million. There are two other films of note: Before I Go to Sleep and the tenth anniversary release of Saw. Before I Go to Sleep is the third release from Clarius Entertainment whose first two releases bombed horribly. This one is expected to finish somewhere in-between the first two at the box office. The Saw franchise is the highest grossing horror franchise of all time, but will people really go to theaters to see it? I would assume fans of these movies likely own the film on Blu-ray, so staying at home would be more appealing. Worse still, this weekend last year was the first weekend of November and it shows. There were five films that earned more than $10 million, led by Ender's Game. This year, we might have no movies earning more than $10 million. Ouch.

Nightcrawler is earning fantastic reviews. Its reviews are so strong, that one would think it would be an Awards Season contender. However, the buzz is really quiet. It is quieter than John Wick's buzz was last weekend. Perhaps it will be a surprise hit and earn $15 million, but I really doubt it. I've going with a little above $10 million, but if no film earns more than $10 million over the weekend, I wouldn't be surprised.

There will likely be a logjam for second place with four films all aiming for $8 million, more or less. Ouija should do well on Friday, Halloween, but it will collapse the rest of the weekend. Its reviews are simply awful, while horror movies tend to have short legs. I think it will fall just under 60% to just over $8 million, which may or may not be enough for second place. It could also fall to just under $7 million, which may or may not be enough to reach the top five. It really depends on how much of an effect Halloween has.

John Wick should earn just under $8 million, which is what the studio thought it would open with, so they should be happy with this result. On the plus side, the film has risen to top spot on the daily chart and its reviews are amazing. On the down side, it's going to be a close weekend, so if it does slip just a little more than expected, it could fall out of the top five.

Fury should be next with between $7 million and $8 million, giving it a running tally of $58 million after three weeks of release. This isn't a terrible run so far, but it is far below expectations.

Saw should round out the top five with just over $7 million over the weekend. The film earned $55 million during its original run, while the franchise earned more than $400 million. However, it also overstayed its welcome and it if weren't for the 3D release, it would have ended its theatrical run on a really depressing note. I think most fans will already own the film on Blu-ray, so there's no need to go to the theater, especially on a night where there are tons of kids trick-or-treating. While earning just over $7 million should give it fifth place, it wouldn't need much to place second. On the other hand, it could also open with less than $6 million, which would leave it on the outside looking in.

Gone Girl should earn just under $7 million, while The Book of Life should earn just over $6 million, and St. Vincent should be next with $6 million.

This gets us to Before I Go to Sleep. So far, the film is earning the best reviews for Clarius Entertainment, but they are still barely above 50% positive. The film is opening in less than 2,000 theaters during one of the worst times of the year to open a film and its buzz is really quiet. On the low end, it could finish below the Mendoza Line, but I think it will avoid that fate with $5 million. However, as you can tell from the long list of films above, it wouldn't take much to be a surprise hit and earn second place.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Saw, St. Vincent, Ouija, The Book of Life, Fury, Fury, Before I Go to Sleep, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, John Wick