Weekend Wrap-Up

Halloween Friday Makes Nightcrawler #1

By John Hamann

November 2, 2014

He's like creepy Peter Parker.

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Jake Gyllenhaal could be on the receiving end of his second Oscar nomination, as critics love Nightcrawler. The thriller is currently 94% fresh at RottenTomatoes, a better score than Gone Girl (88%), St. Vincent (75%) and even with the current favorite, Birdman (94%). The film earned a B- Cinemascore, again, not far off from the score that Gone Girl received (B). These scores indicate division amongst audiences, good for creating water cooler conversations that can propel these films forward. Nightcrawler was made for only $8.5 million, so it will be in a profitable position before it starts its second weekend. Considering Halloween was going to cause real trouble at the box office, Nightcrawler made out pretty well.

Thankfully, that just barely puts Ouija into second place despite it being the number one film on Friday. Estimates have it losing by $9,000, so it will be interesting to see where updated actual box office reports put the two films. As a "supernatural thriller" (you know, for kids), Ouija’s internal multiplier was not affected by Halloween, as audiences would lean towards scares on October 31st. After earning $3.5 million on Friday, the Universal/Hasbro creation took in $10.9 million over the weekend proper, and fell an expected 45%. Made for $5 million, Ouija was profitable after last weekend, so anything earned since then is simply gravy. So far, the horror-for-teens has earned $35 million and will hopefully fold before it hits $55 million.

Fury is third as the Brad Pitt starrer rolls into weekend number three. After earning $13.4 million last weekend, Fury took in another $9.1 million this weekend, giving it a drop of 32%. The World War II tank movie has still yet to eclipse its production budget stateside, as its domestic total sits at $60.4 million against a $68 million production budget. Overseas, it has picked up about $38 million but is still just getting started.


That puts Gone Girl in fourth in its fifth weekend, and it continues to put up strong holds as the weekends fall away. This weekend, the Ben Affleck thriller put up $8.8 million, off a terrific 20% compared to last weekend’s haul of $11 million. Gone Girl is now the biggest domestic release of David Fincher’s career, as it surpassed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s take of $127.5 million. It still has a ways to go to match Button's worldwide total of $303 million, as Gone Girl has earned $136.6 million domestically and sits with about $280 million in worldwide sales.

Fifth is The Book of Life, the animated musical from Fox. While no huge hit, The Book of Life has done what it needed to over its first three weekends. After earning $10 million in its second frame, this kids' flick about The Day of the Dead earned another $8.3 million this weekend, giving it a drop of 17%. Made for $50 million, The Book of Life has earned $40.5 million stateside and has pulled in another $29 million from overseas audiences. Given a few more weekends of release, this one could make it into the win column for Fox, a difficult task in the animation world when you are not Disney, Pixar or Blue Sky.

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