Box Office Wrap Up: Boo! 2 Avoids Disaster Weekend.
Madea’s second Halloween flick found the eye of the storm as other new releases got soaked.
The box office totals for this week don’t seem to paint an accurate picture of the landscape. On one hand, Tyler Perry’s new Madea film had a solid release and the overall box office numbers are only slightly down from last year. On the other hand, it was another sub-par week for overall box office earnings and nearly every other movie had a disaster of a weekend. Of course, with all of the weather metaphors I’m talking about Geostorm, which disappointed in pretty much every way possible.
This Week in Box Office History.
As we mentioned, the broad strokes show just a mediocre weekend. At 95 million in total earnings, this week was down a modest 4% from last week and 3% from last year. As a whole, October is a good margin down from last year, unless next week’s panel of films has a fantastic Halloween. That would require Jigsaw to live up to the best of the SAW franchise’s debuts and Thank You for Your Service to have the same inexplicable success as American Sniper. In short, I highly doubt October is going to mount a rally.
Overall, it looks like October will be a down period between a fantastic September and a holiday period where Beuna Vista’s blockbusters such as Thor and Star Wars post big numbers. Perhaps audiences are budgeting their purchases and interest levels in anticipation for what has become a bankable season – though pretty much only for Disney. Overall trend lines show October heading in a negative direction, with the last two years both pacing 17-20% behind the previous year.
First place went to Tyler Perry’s Boo! 2: a Madea Halloween. This is the seventh release in the Madea franchise, and the fifth one to score a debut of more than 20 million dollars. Much like the Ernest movies, the high water mark was the “Goes to Jail” entry, and it has been trending downwards since then. There may be series fatigue setting in, especially considering that there’s another Madea movie slated for the holidays and we get one pretty much every year. Audiences and critics were positive (though slightly less so than there were for the original,) so don’t expect the Madea franchise to go away anytime soon.
The second spot went to Geostorm, which got caught out in the rain. The big budget disaster film wound up taking in 13 million versus a 120 million dollar budget. Global ticket sales have been decent and it opens in China next week, so there is a chance that it becomes one of those spectacle films that fails miserably in the US while making a tidy sum abroad. Critics and audiences score the film very negatively, meaning it’s probably done in the US for all intents and purposes.
Third place went to Happy Death Day, which continues to have a solid run. It added nearly 10 million dollars to its total of 40 million dollars. Compared to its very modest 4 million dollar budget, the quirky horror film has been an unvarnished hit.
Only the Brave debuted to the tune of 6 million dollars in 5th place, which was disappointing given how positive critics were of the film. Director Joseph Kosinski’s third film was well short of his other offering – Tron Legacy and Oblivion – but those films were big budget sci-fi romps. Between this movie and Geostorm, is seems that audiences were just not interested in films about natural disasters.
Speaking of disaster, another wide release that failed to garner interest was The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender. The murder mystery thriller turned in just 3 million dollars against a 35 million dollar budget and landed with a thud in 8th place. Critics savaged the film and audiences gave it a chilly “D” rating on Cinemascore, pointing to a film that is likely going to remain out in the cold.
The last wide release, The Same Kind of Different as Me, fell outside of the top ten. No budget was announced (never a reassuring sign) but estimates put its cost in the 10 million dollar range. As such, a take of 3 million dollars was certainly not disastrous. Early ticket sales were strong, as faith based movies tend to have, but it did very little additional business. While it does have room to expand, there doesn’t seem to be much room to grow with wider audiences.