Weekend Box Office Forecast: 'Jack Reacher', Madea's 'Boo!' and 'Ouija 2'
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: It's a tight race at the top of the box office with Boo! A Madea Halloween taking the early lead with an estimated $9.4 million on Friday followed closely by Paramount's Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which brought in an estimated $8.9 million. The two films will likely finish with $23+ million and right now it's looking like Boo! will take the win with an opening around $25 million. Boo! also satisfied opening day audiences, scoring an "A" CinemaScore and Jack Reacher scored one notch lower than the "A-" the original received, receiving a "B+" from opening day audiences.

In third is Universal's Ouija: Origin of Evil, which brought in an estimated $5.46 million and is looking at a three-day opening in the range of $13 million. The film scored a "C" CinemaScore with opening day audiences, which is to say it doesn't appear to be catching on with audiences the way it did with critics as the RottenTomatoes score now stands at 81%.

Fox's new release, the ensemble comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses is having a hard time keeping up with the top five releases, bringing in an estimated $2 million on Friday, heading toward an opening weekend around $5.5-6 million. Opening day audiences gave it a "B-" CinemaScore.

One final note this morning is to point out the estimated $131,464 A24's Moonlight brought in on Friday from just four theaters. The film is looking at an opening weekend around $450,000 or so and a per theater average of $112,500, which would be just outside the top twenty all-time.

You can check out all the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete weekend wrap-up.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back got off to a great start last night, bringing in $1.325 million from Thursday night previews in 2,850 theaters. Compared to recent releases this is just a bit shy of the $1.35 million The Accountant brought in on Thursday night last weekend before opening with $24.7 million and almost $500k more than the $860k brought in by Deepwater Horizon last month before opening with $20.2 million. Another comparison would be last year's Black Mass, which brought in $1.4 million on Thursday night before opening with $22.6 million.

Boo! A Madea Halloween delivered an estimated $855,000 last night from over 1,800 locations. Thursday previews in this range deliver a wide range of results anywhere from $10-20 million. Boo! is expected to finish in the mid-teens.

Universal's Ouija: Origin of Evil delivered $722,000 in Thursday late night shows from 2,371 theaters. This is just slightly behind the first film, which brought in $911k before opening with $19.8 million.

Fox's Keeping Up with the Joneses delivered $300,000 from ~2,400 locations, which is a bit behind the $364k Bridget Jones's Baby brought in on Thursday night before opening with $8.5 million.

We will have Friday estimates tomorrow and a full recap of the weekend on Sunday morning. You can read our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Four new wide releases this weekend should help propel the top twelve over $100 million this weekend and, for the first time in six weeks, show improvement over the same weekend last year. This weekend is also going big with sequels, delivering three of them including Tom Cruise returning as the title star in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the horror sequel Ouija: Origin of Evil and Tyler Perry's latest outing as Madea in Boo! A Madea Halloween. Fox will also be releasing the ensemble comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses and Pure Flix is releasing the faith-based, Columbine drama I'm Not Ashamed into just over 500 theaters. Overall the weekend top twelve should come in around $100-105 million if all goes as forecasted.

At the top, it would be a nice win for Paramount should they land a #1 finish with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The studio has had a rough go this year, as they have over the past several years. The studio currently places sixth among all studios, having brought in just over $610 million as of this past Sunday. Paramount and Sony ($809m) are the only two major studios yet to cross $1 billion domestically this year while Disney has so far banked over $2.15 billion domestically on top of bringing in $3.566 billion worldwide, surpassing their own record of $3.565 billion, which was set just last year. It seems owning Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar helps the bottom line, but let's get back to this weekend.

Jack Reacher debuted to a modest $15.2 million during the holidays back in 2012, an opening that appears incredibly soft until you notice it carried a 5.26x multiplier and finished its domestic run with just over $80 million. Even more notable is the $138.26 million it made overseas, accounting for more than 63% of its worldwide revenue and Paramount took notice. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is debuting in 3,780 theaters domestically as well as in over 40 international markets, including day-and-date in China where the first film tallied $15 million.

Industry expectations anticipate an opening in the high teens for the Reacher sequel, which seems just about right as we'd be a bit more bullish if the reviews were a little better. Never Go Back currently holds an iffy 40% on RottenTomatoes, though less-than-stellar reviews didn't hurt The Accountant last weekend.

The big question is whether an opening around $18-19 million will be enough for Reacher to secure the top spot as two of the weekend's other new wide releases both have a chance at #1 if the cards fall in their favor.

First we'll look at the return of Tyler Perry's ever popular Madea character as she is getting her very own Halloween comedy with Boo! A Madea Halloween. Expectations are for a finish somewhere in the mid-teens, though there isn't any reason why this one couldn't pop a little higher.

Factors playing into our $17+ million forecast for Boo! include the fact Perry's A Madea Christmas opened with $16 million in 2013 and, when looking at IMDb page view data, Boo! is pacing pretty much keeping right on pace with that comparison at the same point in the release cycle. Additionally, online ticket retailer Fandango.com is seeing a similar trend, reporting the film is outpacing Perry's 2013 holiday-themed movie at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle. Adding a little more fuel to the fire, the film's co-star, Bella Thorne, has also seen a significant increase in her STARmeter ranking on IMDb, propelling her into the top ten.

Next up is Ouija: Origin of Evil, one of the more interesting titles releasing this week as one may not expect much from a sequel to a film based on a board game, especially when the original film was slaughtered by critics to the tune of a 7% rating on RottenTomatoes and has a 4.4/10 IMDb user rating. However, the 2014 original banked $50 million domestically despite those negative reviews, one area in which the sequel isn't struggling. In fact, Origin of Evil is holding strong with an 81% rating on RottenTomatoes with 43 reviews published so far. Question is, how compelled will the original film's audience be to see the sequel given how much they appear to dislike its predecessor?

Early in the week IMDb page view trends weren't in the film's favor as it was pacing well behind the original as well as comparable titles, but as the positive reviews started coming in the film saw a steady increase in audience interest. Fandango.com also reports the sequel was pacing ahead of the predecessor at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle, but this doesn't mean we should be expecting an opening above the originals' $19.8 million. What it does suggest, however, is Ouija 2 could enjoy some strong legs as we have seen from several horror films as of late including Don't Breathe and Lights Out, both of which have multiples over 3.1x and Don't Breathe is creeping up on $90 million domestically on a reported $9.9 million budget.

Like Boo!, industry expectations for Ouija: Origin of Evil are for an opening in the mid-teens. It would be easier to go higher if there was an audience that seemed to be clamoring for a sequel. As it stands, the strong reviews should help bolster the film's opening and it seems likely this one will open right around $16 million and hold over rather well... that is, should audiences agree with the critical assessment.

In fourth position we find last weekend's #1 film, The Accountant, which should fall anywhere from 44-50%. It's tough to peg down a number exactly as a lot will depend on audience interest in Jack Reacher and how well word of mouth spread after the film enjoyed a very strong, $24.7 million opening last weekend to go along with an "A" CinemaScore. We're anticipating a sophomore session right around $13.5 million.

Fifth place should go to The Girl on the Train as it enters its third weekend, which means Fox's ensemble comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses will likely slide to sixth. The film stars Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm and the current batch of reviews are not kind to the tune of a 16% score on RottenTomatoes. A look at IMDb data leading up to release isn't much better as it recently began pacing behind Masterminds, which debuted with $6.5 million four weeks ago. An opening around $6+ million seems most likely.

Outside the top ten, Pure Flix will release I'm Not Ashamed into 505 theaters. The faith-based feature tells the story of Columbine victim, Rachel Joy Scott and centers on how she was not ashamed to share her faith in Jesus, even to her killers. Expect the film to finish with anywhere from $1.25-2 million this weekend.

In limited release, Sony is releasing El Jeremias in 192 theaters; Lionsgate will release Ewan McGregor's directorial debut American Pastoral in 50 theaters; A24 will release Moonlight in four theaters; Focus World is releasing In a Valley of Violence into 33 theaters; and IFC will debut King Cobra starring James Franco, Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald into one theater.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (3,780 theaters) - $19.0 M
  • Boo! A Madea Halloween (2,260 theaters) - $17.3 M
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil (3,168 theaters) - $16.0 M
  • The Accountant (3,332 theaters) - $13.5 M
  • The Girl on the Train (3,089 theaters) - $6.9 M
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses (3,022 theaters) - $6.2 M
  • Kevin Hart: What Now? (2,566 theaters) - $5.3 M
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (3,133 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • Deepwater Horizon (2,828 theaters) - $3.8 M
  • Storks (2,145 theaters) - $3.1 M

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