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Weekend Box Office: Madea Halloween Frightfully Good While Inferno Fizzles

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By Chris Kavan - 10/30/16 at 06:43 PM CT

It was a weekend repeat as Tyler Perry's latest Madea film held on to the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row. The only new film in wide release was the latest Dan Brown adaptation, and it was a major disappointment. The box office was down 32% compared to last weekend but showed a 23% improvement over the same weekend in 2015 - which was also the lowest-grossing weekend of that entire year. Meanwhile, Dr. Strange had an impressive overseas debut ahead of its domestic launch.


Perry made an excellent choice in releasing his Halloween-themed Madea a week before the big holiday. With just a 41.5% drop, A Madea Halloween can now boast the best hold for any Perry film in its second weekend. If its $16.6 million holds, it will also be the biggest second-weekend for any Perry film as well. It is only the third time a Perry film has held on to the top spot for a second week in a row and the $52 million total places it only behind Madea’s Witness Protection ($65 million), which it will surely catch and Madea Goes to Jail ($90 million), which it may not catch, but we'll see how close it can come. In any case, A Madea Halloween is a big success and all on a light $20 million budget. It has managed to snag both a younger and whiter audience than his previous films and though it will likely drop after the holiday is over, there is no other comedy out there right now and its longevity looks to benefit from that.


While Tom Hanks may have scored one of the fall's biggest success stories with Sully, lightning couldn't strike twice. The Da Vinci Code was a monster smash ($77 million debut, $217 million domestic and $758 million world-wide total), Angels & Demons was not as great but still solid ($46 million opening, $133 million domestic and $485 million world-wide) but Inferno proves the third time certainly isn't the charm. With just a $15 million opening, Inferno had a disastrous debut - 67.5% lower than the opening for Angels & Demons. Granted, the budget for Inferno is also much lower ($75 million versus $150 million) but it is only going to survive due to an international audience, where it has already earned $132.7 million. There is a very real chance that Inferno earns less in its entire run than The Da Vinci Code made in its opening weekend in the U.S. If it follows a similar pattern as the first two films, it's looking at a mere $43 million. Even if Dan Brown writes a bunch more best-selling novels about the symbologist, I don't think Ron Howard and Hanks will be returning to this particular hero any time soon.


The onslaught of adult-oriented dramas means the Tom Cruise sequel took a 58.2% hit in its second weekend, after a fairly disappointing opening itself. Never Go Back added another $9.55 million to its total, which now stands at $39.6 million. The $60 million film has at least made $93.8 million world-wide, but it's domestic total is going to be lucky to hit that mark on its own. In any case, I'm thinking that the Jack Reacher franchise has also likely run its course - unless it can make a much bigger impact on the foreign front, but even that may not be able enough to save it.


Holding up a fair bit better in this rather crowded market is Ben Affleck's The Accountant. It managed to hold on to its fourth-place spot in its third week out while also having a pretty good hold, dipping just 37.9%. The film made $8.47 million, which raised its total to $61.25 million. That's looking very good next to its $44 million budget. Granted, it only has a $20.7 million outside the U.S. - but with a likely $80-$85 million - a $100 million plus world-wide total on that budget could very well result in further adventures for our mild-mannered but super deadly action hero - sometimes it takes a beautiful mind to wreck such havoc.


Rounding out the top five is the only true horror movie to come out this Halloween season - Ouija: Origin of Evil. The prequel dipped 49.7% - not bad for a horror movie when all is said in done - and added about $7.1 million to its total: $24.6 million. It is slightly higher than the 46% drop of the original Ouija film, but still respectable. People seem to be much more interested in laughing this year than being scared, but don't worry, the film's $43.7 million world-wide total looks just fine next to its meager $9 million budget. It will probably drop like a rock after Halloween is over but if it makes it to $30-$35 million - I don't think anyone is going to complain about that result.

Outside the top five: Dr. Strange had a magical overseas opening ahead of its domestic debut. With $83 million (final numbers pending) it puts it ahead of the likes of Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. It also had the best international October IMAX debut on record, $7.8 million, easily topping Gravity at $3.2 million. It's best debut was in South Korea where it opened to $18.1 million - that opening represents more than the total earned by Guardians of the Galaxy, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad in their respective entire runs. We'll see what this means for domestic, but it opens in the U.S. and China next week.

In limited release, Moonlight continued to be the standout, adding 32 theaters (36 total), earning $900,826 thousand for another per-theater-average best $25,083 per-theater. It looks to continue to expand in the major markets with hopefully a wider release coming in the next month.

Besides the opening of Dr. Strange (Marvels 14th movie, by the way) next week also brings us the animated Trolls along with Mel Gibson's war drama, Hacksaw Ridge.


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