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Weekend Box Office: Nightcrawler, Ouija Dead Even Over Slow Halloween Wekeend

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By Chris Kavan - 11/02/14 at 08:17 PM CT

With Halloween falling on Friday, it looks like people were more interested in celebrating than going out to the movies. With just $81.9 million, the Halloween weekend ranks among the slowest of the year. Granted, studios may have been expecting this and thus didn't really offer up any certified blockbusters to bring in moviegoers, either. That being said, at least there is some excitement to be had as there is knock-down fight to the first place spot. Chances are, we aren't going to know the true winning until Monday, but since I'm not going to wait, you'll have to make due with what I have to work with.


The Jake Gyllenhaal led crime/thriller is pretty much running neck-and-neck with Ouija, but I'll give the new entry to edge and put it in the first place spot (though it could very easily tumble to number two by the time many could be reading this). Anyway, Nightcrawler opened to $10.9 million. That is bit lower than Gyllenhaal's End of Watch ($13.2 million) as well as opening lower than John Wick ($14.4 million). While the film had earned some rave reviews, audiences didn't have the same reaction. They gave it just a "B-" Cinemascore - probably because the main character is kind of a sleazeball from what I've seen - not exactly a "hero" you can get behind. Still, breaking $10 million has to be as a win overall, for a movie with a somewhat limited appeal. Given everything, the film is probably looking at a $30 million or so total.


The other film fighting for the top spot is a Halloween-skewing horror film, Ouija. Despite opening to terrible reviews and a rather tepid audience Cinemascore, the film dropped just 45% from its opening week numbers - which is actually a good hold for a horror movie, most of which drop over 55% in their second weeks. Ouija also took in at least $10 million - and its new total stands at $35 million. It is now looking like the horror film has better legs than advertised and should wind up at near the $50 million mark by the time it leaves theaters. Just as Nightcrawler can very well drop a spot, Ouija could just as easily take the top spot when Monday rolls around and the final numbers are tallied.


The war drama following a tank crew led by Brad Pitt retained the third spot, dipping 32% in the process. Fury took in $9.1 million over the weekend and raised its total to $60.4 million, edging ever closer to its $68 million budget. The films still has enough gas in its tank (pun totally intended) to cross the $75 million mark - and probably a bit above that total as well.


David Fincher's excellent crime thriller/mystery also held on to the fourth place spot for the second consecutive weekend. Gone Girl brought in $8.8 million, dipping a light 20%, and giving the film a new total of $136.6 million. That total means Gone Girl has now topped Ben Afflek's Argo ($136 million) and it should still have enough left to cross the $150 million mark.


Yet another film coming in the same place as last week, the animated Book of Life was in fifth place once again, with an even better hold, dropping just over 17%. The film took in $8.3 million, giving the film a new total of $40.5 million. The film should at least reach its budget of $50 million in the coming weeks, though it's not likely to earn much more than that.

Outside the top five: As expected, with almost no marketing, Before I Go to Sleep not only couldn't come anywhere near the top five, it didn't even crack to the top 10. Opening with just over $2 million, it wound up down in 14th place. It represents another terrible opening for Clarius Entertainment, following Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return ($3.75 million) along with And So It Goes ($4.64 million).

At least it didn't fare as badly as Saw 10th Anniversary. The once-Halloween staple franchise tried to capitalize on some Halloween love, opening in 2,063 theaters, but it brought in just $650,000. That represents the third-worst total for any film opening in 2000+ theaters, behind Oogielovers In The BIG Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and Delgo ($511,920) - not exactly the kind of company any film wants to be in. If you break down the cost per ticket, Saw sold about 39 tickets per theater.

On the global level, Guardians of the Galaxy officially passed Maleficent as the second-highest grossing film of the year (worldwide), trailing only Transformers: Age of Extinction. With all major markets accounted for, it's not likely to be able to catch up.

Next week is going to bring in the big guns - Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar is on the menu, along with Disney's animated Big Hero 6. Both films have been in marketing overdrive and should bring in big crowds.


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