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.
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.
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)