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Weekend Wrap-Up

Boo Hoo. Boo2 Blows Up Another Box Office Weekend

By John Hamann

October 22, 2017

Madea: Still Got It

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Another October 2017 box office weekend and another step backward (or forward, into the abyss), but I can’t say I had the weekend of Tyler Perry’s Boo 2 and Geostorm circled on my yearly movie going calendar. Poor releases that are poorly timed and poorly marketed just don’t work.

No, it was not a weekend of box office highpoints, so four new releases show up, and before too long, they will very quickly begin their disappearing acts in the weeks ahead. There is a potential jewel in this weekend’s mess, though, the firefighting movie Only The Brave, as the biopic was buoyed by strong reviews and fantastic Cinemascores. Problem is, it was released amidst a bunch of muck that doesn’t matter and got caught in the sinkhole (or stinkhole) of new releases. Hitting screens with a thud are Geostorm, a $125 million sci-fi spectacle from Warner Bros. and Dean Devlin, and starring Gerard ‘I wouldn’t even be acting in movies had I not done 300 10 years ago’ Butler; Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween – and if I have to explain this to you, you should be reading The Economist or People; Only The Brave, a film that feels like a Clint Eastwood flick, as heroic individuals fight for the lives of others and ultimately their own, The Foreigner, with box office heavyweights Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan; and Same Kind of Different As Me, another faith-based release, but this one carrying some actual star power, in more than one role.

The pain starts in the number one position, as the box office is led by Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, the follow up to the one year old Boo, a film that opened to $28.5 million, and finished domestically at $73.3 million, all very impressive scores for a Tyler Perry flick. So, immediately back to the well as soon as possible, in the hopes that Boo will carry the Tyler torch for awhile, until a Madea Family Funeral comes out in 2018. Boo 2 was one of those films that got off to a better start than the original in terms of a daily total, but then showed frontloading, and couldn’t muster the opening weekend receipts of the original.
Boo 2 got started Thursday with a preview amount that didn’t reach $1 million and was lower than the original. The Tyler Perry flick then bounced back a little, earning $7.5 million, unfortunately $2 million behind that of the original. Any hope of out-opening the original were now likely gone, as normally sequels will have a bigger front end of a weekend, as compared to legs. The Saturday for the original was an electric $11.75 million; the sequel could only muster $8.8 million, 18% behind the original. Fortunes for the sequel were fading fast, and Boo 2 – A Madea Halloween grossed a slim $21.75 million million for Lionsgate over opening weekend, losing to the original by $x.xx million. Not only were scores lower, the budget was up as well – the sequel cost $25 million to make, were the original came in $5 million less at $20 million.

Boo 2! Behaved like a typical Tyler Perry flick with critics, embarrassed, as critics could only muster 1 positive review out of 12. This is not overly surprising as the Madea series has never been popular with critics, with his best coming wqiht The Family That Preys, which earned a 52% rating. The good news is of course the Cinemascore - it earned an A-, debuting with similar word as all the other Madea films – except for the original Boo, which earned an A Cinemascore. These results will likely make the legs key, as Boo 2 will work domestically, but will have a tough time overseas, given the originals failure over there., as it earned a teensy $1.2 million overseas.




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Second spot goes to Geostorm, which I think is one of the worst looking films released in the last five years, including Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four. From WB, this sci-fi actioner cost the studio and partners $120 million to bring to the screen, and is going to have to heavily rely on overseas audiences in order to turn the trick. It opened Friday to $4.3 million – and for some reason didn’t have previews, so was at full service on Friday. It rose 30% on Saturday, earning $5.6 million ,but the damage was done already. The weekend total came in at $13.3 million, clearly not enough for a film with a $120 million budget. The difference between a film like this and a move like Boo!, is the overseas audience. Foreign territories will eat this sh!t up, at the very least pushing it in the direction of profitability.

Hard to believe that Gerard Butler is still trying to open films. Only London and Olympus Has Fallen have opened above $20 million since The Bounty Hunter in 2010, and Law Abiding Citizen in 2009. Since then a string of flops have followed Butler, including big films like Gods of Egypt ($31 million domestic, $140 million budget), and small films like Chasing Mavericks ($6 million domestic, $20 million budget). He appears to bring in the overseas audience – Gods of Egypt earned about $120 million overseas, or about four times the domestic gross. Butler’s Olympus has Fallen (the first one) earned $71 million overseas (keeping in mind, that’s a pretty America-centric film), where London Has Fallen brought the overseas to $140 million. Because of London’s successful overseas run, it likely made the sequel profitable, as well as the series, as the original narrowly missed. As Geostorm should play in foreign territories quite well, despite no quality (13% fresh), and a highly questionable Cinemascore (B-), it will need all the help it can get to push for a profit.

Last weekend’s champ Happy Death Day does the usual thing for a horror flick, and drops large in its second weekend. Aftewr starting with $26 million for Universal last weekend, Happy Death Day plunges, dropping a severe 64% to $x.xx million. While a larger drop than Universal wanted, remember that Death Day is a movie that cost $4.8 million to make, and has already picked up $40.8 million domestic and should make it to $60 million. Overseas, it already has $12 million and growing, likely making this one $100 million worldwide against the at miniscule budget.

Blade Runner 2049 is fourth, as the Warner Bros. sequel to the classic, continues to be bad news for the studio, after having so much promise. This weekend, its third, the what we thought was extremely anticipated sequel fell more than 50% for the second consecutive weekend, as it earned $7.2 million and fell 54%. The domestic total has reached $74 million, and the overseas $120 million, but WB is still a mile away from recouping the $150 million budget.

Only the Brave is fifth, as the firefighter film fails to achieve lift off despite a heroic story. Sony chose to open on 2,577 screens, likely expecting this one to expand over the next few weeks. The plan seems to have backfired, as the venue average came in at $2,332 – in the same ballpark as Blade Runner 2049. The result is quite suprising considering it is 90% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and earned an A Cinemascore. Could the fires in California and Europe put filmgoers off of a film like this? It will be interesting to see if this one can survive due to some strong word of mouth, or whether it will slip into the ‘little seen classics list”.

After finishing third over its opening frame, The Foreigner drops hard to sixth this weekend, as Jackie Chan returns to US theatres in what is likely his first real stateside starring role since The Karate Kid in 2010. Teamed with Pierce Brosnan, The Foreigner earned $5.5 million this weekend, dropping 54%. It cost $45 million to make, and with a domestic total at $22.8 million, and an overseas gross at $88 million, this one is going to make some serious money, despite not exploding stateside.

New release The Snowman got beat down by the critics, and limped off screen. The Michael Fassbender release could muster only $3.4 million from 1,812 venues. It got crushed by critics (8% fresh) and massacred by audiences (D Cinemascore). He’s melting!!!! He’s melting!

Same Kind of Different Than Me finished outside of the top ten, surprising considering a strong cast. Released by faith-based staple Pure Flix, the film earned $2.5 million from 1,362 venues.

Overall this weekend, the box office really bottomed out, hitting the low point since Labour Day. The top 12 films this weekend earned $81.4 million, crushed by last year’s top 12 which brought in $113.6 million, thanks to the original Boo, and three other strong openers. Next weekend? Jigsaw, the new horror flick from Lionsgate opens; Suburbicon from Paramount, which features a script from the Coen Bros., with Clooney directing, and Matt Damon starring; and finally, Thank You for Sharing from Universal.


Top Ten for Weekend of October 20-22, 2017
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated Gross
Weekly Change
Running Total
1 Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Lionsgate 21.7 New 21.7
2 Geostorm Warner Bros. 13.3 New 13.3
3 Happy Death Day Universal 9.4 -64% 40.7
4 Blade Runner 2049 Warner Bros. 7.2 -54% 74.0
5 Only the Brave Sony 6.0 New 6.0
6 The Foreigner STX 5.5 -58% 22.8
7 It Warner Bros. 3.5 -42% 320.2
8 The Snowman Universal 3.4 New 3.4
9 American Made Universal 3.2 -43% 45.5
10 Kingsman: The Golden Circle 20th Century Fox 3.0 -44% 94.6
11 The Mountain Between Us 20th Century Fox 2.8 -52% 25.5
12 Same Kind of Difference as Me Pure Flix 2.6 New 2.6

     


 
 

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Thursday, November 23, 2017
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