Nightcrawler, Ouija lead a slow Halloween weekend

It appears that the last thing you do on Halloween in the USA is go to a movie theatre. Big studios avoided this weekend this year, and the regular dose of a horror film around this time had released last week itself in the form of Ouija. The classic Saw of 2004 had the beginning of its one-week re-run (on its tenth anniversary) which terribly bombed and unnecessarily spoiled the name of a fantastic horror movie. But there was still some studios brave enough to release new movies over the weekend. And the one that put on a tough battle with Ouija was the Jake Gyllenhal starrer Nightcrawler which is being distributed by Open Road Films. Nightcrawler is yet another serious-toned R-rated film that we have already had a slew of over the past weeks. In that set (which also includes The Equalizer, Gone Girl, Fury, John Wick), Nightcrawler has the weakest of openings with $10.9 million earned in North America, though still good enough to put it at the top of the box-office charts. The movie has been made on a measly production budget of $8 million which makes the opening look all the more better. It has also earned some excellent reviews with a 93% score on Rottentomatoes which could result in strong holdovers for the subsequent weeks, something that has been seen for the other R-rated movies that I have mentioned above. In 2012, Jake Gyllenhal had starred in the R-rated cop film End of Watch which had grossed $48 million worldwide on a low production budget too. A similar box-office figure is what I expect Nightcrawler to be targeting too, though it is difficult to say where the movie is headed for, as of now.

Earnings_Nightcrawler

The preliminary earnings figure shows Nightcrawler has crawled above Ouija by just a few thousand dollars, and these positions could easily interchange when the actual results are declared. Nonetheless, Ouija has taken only a 45% decline in its second weekend, despite its horrible reviews and the expected competition from Saw re-release which never turned up. This $5 million movie has already grossed $43 million worldwide; a solid solid performance indeed! Fury is expanding in foreign territories and this war movie has grossed close to $100 million so far worldwide. I had said previously that the studios would be looking at figures north of $200 million, which can be achieved only if the movie gets a good foreign push since the domestic earnings are drying up. No problems in declaring Gone Girl a big hit though, with $279 million earned worldwide so far. Keanu Reeves’ John Wick also had a soft ease of 45% on its second weekend; this low budget action movie has earned $36 million worldwide till date and may require twice that amount to break-even.

Earnings_Ouija v2

There was another wide release over the weekend, though across 1,900 theatres only. This was the thriller Before I Go To Sleep starring Nicole Kidman. I have kept the last few words for this movie because its box-office performance deserves nothing more. A $2 million opening weekend figure and a 14th place on the domestic box-office charts is bound to leave Kidman wondering on where her glory days have disappeared.

Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):

1. Nightcrawler ($10.9 million)

2. Ouija ($10.9 million; second weekend)

3. Fury ($9.1 million; third weekend)

4. Gone Girl ($8.8 million; fifth weekend)

5. The Book of Life ($8.3 million; third weekend)


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