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Weekend Box Office: Perfect Guy Tops The Visit in Close Finish

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By Chris Kavan - 09/13/15 at 09:03 PM CT

It was really going to come down to a battle between two new films over the weekend and we may not know who actually won until Monday - but as of now, even if the winners switch, it's good new for both M. Night Shyamalan and African-American-led thrillers. Both films crushed it at the box office and both had relatively low production costs. Even if both will only be able to enjoy one week of decent numbers - that one week is all it will take to make them profitable, though I'm sure both films would like to hold out for as long as possible.


Dating back to 2009, when Obsessed with Idris Elba and Beyoncé Knowles opened to $29 million, it has actually been a good run for African-American fronted thriller. The Perfect Guy opened to first with $26.7 million, that puts it in the same area as Obsessed, along with last years No Good Deed (which opened on the same weekend to $24 million). It also makes it the fifth week in a row that the top film has featured a predominantly African-American cast (Straight Outta Compton and War Room being the other two films). Even though reviews were on the low end, audiences gladly awarded The Perfect Guy an "A-" Cinemascore. The best news is that Perfect Guy only had a $12 million budget, so it has already more than doubled its cost - and it looks to improve on that from here on out. If it follows the same pattern as No Good Deed, Perfect Guy is looking at a total in the $60 million range and, should it keep its box office opening, would be among the top 15 September openings of all time.


While the past few years haven't been the best for M. Night Shyamalan, maybe a low-budget horror film is just what he needed to get back on the right track. The Visit, with its $5 million budget, also looks to be a big hit with audiences as it scored a $25.7 million opening. Even more impressive is that it gained no only from Friday to Saturday, but into Sunday, meaning word of mouth (at least for the weekend) was excellent from this quirky horror film. Even though The Visit is technically the second-lowest opening for Shyamalan, the fact his other films were budgeted $50 - $80 million means that it will probably be among the most successful in terms of pure profit. In fact, The Visit has a good chance of topping Lady in the Water ($42 million) and maybe even After Earth ($60 million) before it ends its run. It's the second-best opening for a Blumhouse original film outside of The Purge ($33 million). Like many horror film, it will probably have a steep second week drop, but making back nearly six times its budget on opening weekend is a good sign and looks to spell a nice return for the director - no twist ending needed.


After rising to the top spot last weekend, War Room took a nominal 22% drop to land in third place with $7.4 million and giving the film a new total of $39.1 million. That helped it top the total for both Fireproof and Courageous (at $33 million and $34 million respectively) and the film has a good chance of surpassing the $60 million of God's Not Dead before it exits theaters. Even though Christian movies target a very specific audience, it seems that audience is happy enough to reward the ones that hit the right note with them. War Room seems to have hit the sweet spot and looks to continue its steady run in the coming weeks.


A Walk in the Woods dipped a single spot from its opening weekend, shedding 44% of its audience in the process. In fourth place, the film took in $4.62 million, giving the film a new total of $19.8 million. It continues to be good news for Broad Green Pictures, as Walk in the Woods is their first major theatrical release. With adult audiences continuing to support it. Walk in the Woods is aiming at about a $30 million total - by no means a huge number, but good enough for a small budget, adult-oriented comedy/drama.


Rounding out the top five for the second week in a row was the Tom Cruise action film Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. In its seventh weekend out, the film is still in the top five, dipping about 43% and giving the film a new total of $188.1 million. It has topped $600 million worldwide and the series looks to be on solid ground with, I'm sure, plenty of other sequels already in the works. And why not? Enjoyable action is getting harder and harder to come by and if I know what to expect - and have been happy in the past (Furious series, Bourne Identity, Bond) I will be more than happy to support it in the future. Some people may say that sequels water down the originality, but if the sequels are this enjoyable, I'm more than happy to go along for the ride again and again.

Outside the top five: Another faith-based film, 90 Minutes in Heave, opened in 878 theaters (compared to the 3,069 for The Visit) and landed in 9th place with $2.16 million. That's one of the widest-release opening for Goldwyn and their biggest three-day opening since 2008, with another faith-based hit, Fireproof.

Inside Out brought in $1.446 million (14th place) but the big news is that it hit $351.46 million domestically - just topping the $351.03 million of Furious 7 to become the third-highest grossing film of 2015 (it currently is fifth-best on the worldwide market with $747.3 million).

In the 12th place spot, Ant-Man earned $1.61 million and crossed the $175 million mark with a new total of $176.1 million. Even though many thought it wasn't going to be a big Marvel film, it's now looking like Ant-Man is going to top Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million) in the next few days. Not so small after all, eh?

Next week brings us the Maze Runner sequel, Scorch Trials, as well as Johnny Depp's scary-good transformation into 'Whitey' Bulger in Black Mass with a more limited release for the thriller Captive and the high (both literally and figuratively) adventure/drama Everest.


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