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Weekend Predictions: Will Reacher Reach the Top?

October 20th, 2016

Ouija: Origin of Evil

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.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the follow up to Jack Reacher. It wasn’t exactly a monster hit, but it did earn more than $200 million worldwide on an $60 million budget. Unfortunately for Paramount, this one is expected to earn less at the box office and it cost a lot more to make. The film’s reviews won’t help either, as they’re just trying to avoid falling below 40% positive. Additionally, it has to deal with direct competition in the form of The Accountant, which beat box office expectations last week. Never Go Back should come in first place with just over $20 million. Let’s go with $21 million.

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween still has no reviews, but that’s not uncommon for a Madea movie. These films have been very steady at the box office, but since this one is a horror comedy and way outside the usual genre, there is a chance the usual target audience won’t show up this time around. At least some won’t, so it won’t have the biggest opening in the franchise. That said, it should earn about $19 million, which is likely around as much as it cost to make.

Next up is Ouija: Origin of Evil, which could go down as the biggest improvement in quality from the original to the sequel. The first Ouija movie earned 7% positive reviews and a C from CinemaScore. Origin of Evil is currently earning 80% positive reviews and while we won’t have a CinemaScore yet, I would be shocked if it didn’t perform a whole lot better than a C. However, that earlier C is going to haunt its box office chances. Because of that, Origin of Evil likely won’t have such a strong opening. I’m going with $16 million. However, the word of mouth should help its legs. I don’t know if it will help enough during the film’s theatrical run, as horror films tends to fade from theaters quickly. Hopefully it will at least find an audience on the home market.

There are a lot of factors to deal with for The Accountant. Its reviews are just below the 50% positive level, but it earned an A from CinemaScore, so word of mouth should help. On the other hand, it has direct competition to deal with. I think a 50% drop-off is likely, which would leave the film with $12 million over the weekend.

Keeping Up with the Joneses is the next wide release of the week, but it is unlikely to make much noise at the box office. The reviews are below the 20% positive level and the buzz is no better. Furthermore, Zach Galifianakis had a box office bomb in September, so that’s not going to help this film’s chances. I think it will open better with $7 million over the weekend, but if it stumbles just a little bit, then The Girl on the Train will be there to grab fifth place.

I’m Not Ashamed is opening in 500 theaters with no reviews. It's a faith-based film, so it has a shot at the top ten with close to $4 million. However, half of that is more likely. In fact, it could open below the Mendoza Line earning less than $1 million. Faith-based films are very unpredictable.

- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Comparisons
- Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween Comparisons
- Ouija: Origin of Evil Comparisons
- Keeping Up with the Joneses Comparisons
- I’m Not Ashamed Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Masterminds, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Accountant, Keeping Up with the Joneses, The Girl on the Train, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, I’m Not Ashamed, Madea, Zach Galifianakis