Weekend Wrap-Up

Jack Reacher, Madea Lift Box office a Little

By John Hamann

October 23, 2016

Does this make Madea a Final Girl?

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After several weeks of box office failure, movies come to life just a little, thanks to Madea, Jack Reacher and Ouija 2.

Last weekend in this piece, I lamented the lack of any big breakout hit since Suicide Squad opened in August. It has been an ugly run since. This weekend at least brings some hope, as openers include Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a sequel to one of Tom Cruise’s lowest openers, but at the same time, a modest hit. Boo! A Madea Halloween from Tyler Perry also opens this weekend. It’s been three years since we’ve seen a Madea movie, and with Halloween right around the corner, this one had a chance to hit. Ouija: Origin of Evil, a horror movie with decent reviews, also debuted along with Keeping Up With Jones, the lamb to the slaughter.

Our number one film of the weekend is Lionsgate and Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, as Perry points his camera more towards comedy and less towards the family dramas that have carved away at the bigger openings earlier in his career. Perry’s last four films drive home this point. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, admittedly a film Perry only produced, opened to a dreadful $4.6 million in 2013 and finished with less than $10 million (ouch). After that came Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, which opened to a large $16 million and finished with $52.5 million. Next up was Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club, which was another disaster, opening to $8 million and finishing with $16 million. So, you can see the results of his family dramas versus more comedic efforts, and now with Boo!, we can also see that Tyler Perry may want to stick with big holidays going forward.


Getting back to Boo! A Madea Halloween, this one opened to a large $27.6 million after starting on Friday with $9.4 million. Tyler Perry hasn’t had a film open over $20 million since Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, which had Kim Kardashian as a co-star. That one opened to $21.6 million, and it feels like it’s been a long road back to over $20 million for Perry. When looking at Madea films specifically, this opening is right in the middle – similar to Madea’s Witness Protection and Madea’s Big Happy Family, both of which opened to $25 million. Reviews are not a great bellwether for this one, as just 11 were counted (and only five were positive). The Cinemascore came in at a fantastic A, though. It is still going to need some help financially. Boo! cost $20 million to bring to the big screen, so it is going to have to approach $60 million domestic to earn a profit.

Second place goes to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, another sequel with a colon and no numeral (which I hate, because when four of these films are made, I can never figure out what order to watch them in on Netflix). Jack Reacher 2 (isn’t that better?) got started on Thursday, earning what seems to be the usual $1.3 million that night (we’ve had a number of Thursday previews earning that much over the last few weeks). From that number, we knew that again the box office wasn’t going to see a $30 million number for what seems like the zillionth weekend, but we also are not going to see abject failure.

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