1st UPDATE, Friday 11:51 PM: Ouija’s CinemaScore is probably the most frightening thing about this movie. No wonder they wouldn’t screen it. This micro-budgeted film based on the popular Hasbro toy from Blumhouse and Universal Pictures is estimated to have scared in about $ 8M Friday (including the $ 911K from late nights) and is on track for a 3-day gross of around $ 19M+. It got a C CinemaScore. Expect it to fall off the board with its percentage drop next weekend.
John Wick, the violent R-rated film which was a co-production with China, had the advantage of opening in IMAX theaters this weekend. The CinemaScore is only a B which means exit polls for its core audience weren’t that great despite mixed to positive reviews. That will average out to a 2.9 multiple. Surprisingly, Keanu Reeves’ average opening is only $ 17.6M for wide releases. To show how horrible the tracking continues to be, this movie was tracking at $ 7M to $ 9M going into the weekend and its Friday night is already around $ 5.6M and it should end the weekend at around $ 15M.
St. Vincent, which had the best exit polls of the bunch with an A- CinemaScore, may end up in the No. 6 spot this weekend as it goes wide. The three-day cume for this wonderfully directed film by Ted Melfi and starring Bill Murray and (a restrained) Melissa McCarthy could be in the $ 8.5M range. This little film has a big heart as it introduces a precocious new actor in Jaeden Lieberher. Chris O’Dowd also was a scene stealer.
In their second weekends, the Brad Pitt-starring war pic Fury — which has a very strong supporting cast — is holding up well for Sony and QED International. Expect a drop of only around 42% as this well-reviewed film is showing some strength. The animated family film The Book of Life from the Mexican filmmaking duo of Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutierrez added a handful of theaters and will have another good weekend for Fox, falling a mere 37%. It will get a boost tomorrow and Sunday from its core audience and should take the No. 5 spot. Meanwhile, the romancer The Best of Me from Relativity — which plays best with teenage girls — kept its theaters and will drop only around 48%.
Noteworthy this week are two films in limited release. The first is Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as a washed up former movie superhero who is trying to prove his artistic abilities via legit theater while working hard to maintain his sanity. This film from Fox Searchlight soared last weekend on four screens in its limited debut with an incredible per screen average of $ 106K, only behind FSL’s Grand Budapest Hotel per screen this year. This weekend, on 50 screens, Birdman is likely to take in about $ 26K for its psa. Citzenfour, the documentary about the NSA and Edward Snowden from director Laura Piotras which debuted to raves two weeks ago at the New York Film Festival, is opening strong this weekend and is also expected to garner a high per screen average of maybe $ 26K to $ 27K for distrib Radius.
1). Ouija (UNI), 2,858 theaters / $ 8M UNI Fri. (includes $ 911K late nights) / 3-day cume: $ 19M+ UNI / Wk 1
2). John Wick (LGF), 2,589 theaters / $ 5.5M Fri. to $ 5.7M (includes $ 870K late nights) / 3-day cume: $ 15M+ / Wk 1
3). Fury (SONY), 3,173 theaters / $ 4.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 13.5M to $ 14M (-42%) / Total cume: $ 46.2M to $ 47.3M / Wk 2
4). Gone Girl (FOX), 3,106 theaters (-143) / $ 3.4M to $ 3.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 11M to $ 12M / Total cume: $ 124.1M / Wk 4
5). The Book of Life (FOX), 3,133 theaters (+42) / $ 2.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 10.7M (-37%) / Total cume: $ 30.9M / Wk 2
6). St. Vincent (TWC), 2,282 theaters (+2,214) / $ 2.6M to $ 2.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 8.5M / Total cume: $ 10.9M / Wk 3
7). Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (DIS), 3,117 theaters (+29) / $ 1.8M to $ 2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 7M+ / Total cume: $ 44.3M / Wk 3
8). The Best of Me (REL), 2,936 theaters (0) / $ 1.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 5.2M (-48%) / Total cume: $ 18.1M / Wk 2
10). The Judge (WB), 2,610 theaters (-393) / $ 1.4M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 4.6M / Total cume: $ 24.7M / Wk 3
10). Dracula Untold (UNI), 2,364 theaters (-536) / $ 1.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 4.4M / Total cume: $ 48.5M / Wk 3
NOTEWORTHY: Birdman (FSL), 50 theaters (+46) / $ 380K Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 1.3M / Per screen: $ 26K / Total cume: $ 1.9M / Wk 2
Citizenfour (RAD), 5 theaters / $ 55K Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 134K / Per screen: $ 26K to $ 27K / Wk 1
PREVIOUSLY, Friday 1:24 PM: Matinee numbers are coming in with Universal/Blumhouse’s PG-13 rated horror film Ouija leading the pack for what looks now like an $ 8M Friday (which includes the late night grosses of $ 911K) on its way to a $ 19.2M weekend and it may struggle to get to $ 20M+. The horror crowd doesn’t really arrive in theater until this evening and tonight. These horror films do best on the front-fan-loaded Fridays which might be the case here as well and then falling a bit flat on Saturday and do less. Not looking for a great CinemaScore for this one either as the studio clearly knows what it had and has kept it away from the critics.
Loinsgate’s John Wick is on track for a $ 5.5M Friday (which includes the $ 875K from early showings) so could gross around $ 14.5M to $ 15M for the three-day; again, its core R-rated audiences have yet to arrive in theaters. Tonight’s numbers will give us a better idea of what this Keanu Reeves action pic may end up with.
Right now, the second weekend of Brad Pitt’s war pic is in third place and may drop around 45% for the three-day which would be a pretty good hold. It’s still early but right now it looks to do somewhere around $ 11M to $ 12.5M — although one estimate has it as high as $ 14M+. Gone Girl, which surpassed $ 100M last weekend and has led the mid-week grosses for Fox and New Regency, is sitting in No. 4 and should stay solidly there with a three-day gross of anywhere from $ 10M to $ 11M. It’s cume should be hovering around $ 123M this after this frame.
Rounding out the Top Five is The Weinstein Co.’s Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy dramedy St. Vincent — my favorite film of the this weekend and a definite recommend — which could do around $ 8M to $ 9M+ after building some good word-of-mouth in limited release. I’m also hearing that Fox Searchlight’s Michael Keaton, Ed Norton starrer Birdman — which garnered an outstanding $ 202K per screen last weekend – is still playing strong with its expansion into 50 theaters.