NORTH AMERICA: Studio Estimates: ‘Ouija’ Scares Up $20.0M to Lead Weekend; ‘John Wick’ Takes Second with Solid $14.15M; ‘St. Vincent’ #6 with an Encouraging $8.06M
Sunday Update: Universal’s Ouija led the way this weekend with a first place estimated debut of $20.0 million. The low-budget PG-13 horror film debuted on the low end of pre-release expectations. While it didn’t reach the opening weekend heights of other Platinum Dunes horror films, Ouija still marks another solid performer for the production company. Ouija was no doubt helped out a bit by opening in close proximity to Halloween, but was also likely hurt a bit by arriving so soon in the marketplace after the breakout success of Warner’s Annabelle. The film opened 24 percent ahead of the $16.10 million start of last year’s Carrie and 33 percent below the $29.82 million debut of The Purge: Anarchy earlier this year.
Ouija debuted with $8.3 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.91 million from late night Thursday shows), fell a respectable 8 percent on Saturday to take in $7.6 million and is estimated to decline 46 percent on Sunday to gross $4.1 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.41 to 1, which is respectable for a horror film and was likely boosted a bit by the film’s appeal with younger moviegoers. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (75 percent) and towards female moviegoers (61 percent). The film received a C rating on CinemaScore, which while lackluster, isn’t necessarily a troubling score for a horror film.
John Wick debuted in second place with an estimated $14.15 million. The Keanu Reeves led action thriller from Lionsgate opened towards the higher end of expectations, which had risen in recent weeks due in part to surging online activity for the film. John Wick represented just the second wide release for Reeves since 2008’s The Day the Earth Stood Still (the other being last year’s 47 Ronin) and showcases that Reeves still has some drawing power after being out of the spotlight in recent years. The film debuted 13.5 percent ahead of the $12.47 million start of 2008’s Street Kings and will hope to hold up better than that film did, thanks in part to strong critical reviews.
John Wick opened with $5.45 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.87 million from late night Thursday shows), fell a slim 1.5 percent on Saturday to gross $5.37 million and is estimated to fall 38 percent on Sunday to take in $3.33 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.60 to 1. The audience breakdown for John Wick skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (77 percent). The film received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore.
John Wick grossed $2.5 million from 347 IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 17.7 percent of the film’s overall gross this weekend.
Sony’s Fury was down two spots and a sizable 45 percent from last weekend’s first place debut to claim third with an estimated $13.0 million. The David Ayer directed World War II film starring Brad Pitt had held up nicely during the midweek, but likely took a bit of a hit over the weekend from the added presence of John Wick in the marketplace. Fury may also be relatively weekday heavy in general based on its performance thus far. The film has grossed a solid $46.05 million in ten days. That is on the lower end of expectations and is 4 percent ahead of the $44.14 million ten-day start of Sony’s The Monuments Men earlier this year (which fell 30 percent in its second weekend to gross $15.48 million).
Fox’s Gone Girl continued its impressive run with an estimated fourth place take of $11.1 million. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film starring Ben Affleck was down a solid 37 percent from last weekend. Gone Girl continues to distance itself from pre-release expectations with a 24-day take of $124.09 million. The film is now on the verge of surpassing the $127.51 million final domestic gross of 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to become the highest grossing film of Fincher’s career (without adjusting for ticket price inflation).
Fellow Fox release The Book of Life rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $9.8 million. The modestly budgeted 3D computer animated film was down a noteworthy 42 percent from last weekend’s debut. The Book of Life may have taken a bit of a hit from the PG-13 rated Ouija this weekend and producer Guillermo del Toro’s involvement may have also led to some additional front-loading. The Book of Life has grossed a solid $29.91 million in ten days. That is towards the lower end of expectations and is 7 percent below the recent $32.09 million ten-day take of The Boxtrolls.
In its first weekend of wide release, The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent was off to a promising sixth place performance with an estimated $8.06 million. The low-budget comedy starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy received a larger expansion this weekend than was initially expected. The move paid off, as St. Vincent opened on the high end of expectations and took in a respectable per-location average of $3,531 for the frame. St. Vincent grossed $2.55 million on Friday, increased a healthy 31 percent on Saturday to take in $3.34 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $2.17 million. That places the film’s weekend to Friday ratio at an encouraging 3.16 to 1. The film’s A- rating on CinemaScore is also a promising early sign going forward.
Saturday Update: Ouija is off to a respectable start. The horror flick is headed for a $20 million debut after snagging $8.3 million on Friday. Unlike most horror entries, Ouija should hold up reasonably well considering that it has opened before Halloween.
John Wick is on pace for $14 million after tallying $5.5 million on Friday.
St. Vincent is on pace for $8.2 million after grossing $2.6 million on Friday.
Check back tomorrow for official studio weekend estimates.
Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Ouija is headed for $19 million-$20 million during its debut frame. Of course, horror films tend to pop late on Friday night, so we’re not ruling out a surge that could put the fright flick above that range.
John Wick is off to a solid start with what’s look like a $14 million debut frame. If word of mouth is strong among action aficionados, then Keanu Reeves’ latest could post an even higher debut. This definitely marks a comeback for Reeves.
St. Vincent is set for as much as $10 million during its expansion weekend.
Check back tomorrow morning for updated projections and official Friday estimates.
Friday Update #1: Universal’s Ouija bowed to $911,000 last night. That’s noticeably behind the $2.1 million start for Annabelle earlier this month, although that pic had some benefit in marketing with the aid of being a prequel to last year’s horror blockbuster The Conjuring. Ouija‘s Thursday take is more in line with Carrie‘s $730,000 last October, which ultimately earned $16.1 million over opening weekend. Ouija‘s own native brand awareness could feasibly give it a boost as the weekend progresses.
Lionsgate reports that John Wick grabbed a healthy $870,000 from Thursday night shows in over 2,000 locations. That more than double A Walk Among the Tombstones‘ $430,000 Thursday night start in September, which went on to earn $12.8 million over opening weekend, as well as Brick Mansions‘ $400,000 ($9.5 million opening weekend). Strong buzz and critical reviews for the sleeper hit had been building in recent weeks, which could be a factor in last night’s strong turnout, but the chances of a weekend close to $20 million now look even better.
Meanwhile, The Weinstein Company is sending St. Vincent into wide release today following its healthy start in limited play over the past couple of weeks.
More as it comes.