Though things are up and down and definitely uncertain in the film business, there is one thing is for sure. Tyler Perry just keeps going on. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that he does have his audience. Not necessarily the same audience that would go see Moonlight, but they’re there.
Perry’s Boo 2! A Medea Halloween (an unwieldy title if ever there was one) was not screened for the media in advance, for obvious reasons, but it did OK coming in No. 1 this weekend opening with $21.6 million. which is about average for a Perry movie. He has had films that have opened much better (Madea Goes to Jail still remains the film with the biggest weekend opening of $41 million) and has films that have opened worse. In fact, the first Boo! movie that opened last year had a bigger opening with $28 million and went on to become the second-biggest grossing film ever for Perry after Jail, but if things go as usual Boo 2! should go on to gross $50-55 million, which is again about average for his more successful films.
But Boo 2! also lucked out in that despite five new releases, it was a truly mediocre weekend for films. Warner Bros., after a very successful summer with Wonder Woman, Dunkirk and the last summer smash, It is having a pretty lousy fall with the box office disappointment of Blade Runner 2049, and now Geostorm, which will be second biggest box office flop of the year for the studio after King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword back in May.
But they knew what they had. The film was actually shot back in 2014, and was scheduled to be released in March 2016. But after terrible test preview responses, the studio had extensive reshoots done on the film in 2016 at the cost of an additional $15 million and pushed back the release date from October 2016, and then again to January 2017, and finally, to this October weekend
Not surprisingly, like Boo 2!, that film was also not screened for critics and Warner Bros. put very little money into marketing knowing that had a loser on their hands. They were right, with Geostorm coming in second this weekend, but grossing only $13.3 million for a film that after all is said and done, cost somewhere around $125 million to make.
But Warner Bros. is not alone. Universal has their own disaster of their making as well with the suspense thriller, The Snowman, which came in 8th place with just under $3.5 million. In this case, the studio has no one to blame but themselves. Tomas Alfredson, who directed the marvelous Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy back in 2011, was brought into the Snowman project when the original director Martin Scorsese dropped out.
But Alfredson claimed because Scorsese was no longer directly involved with the project, he was given a much lower budget and shorted production schedule and as a result said that some 15 percent of the script which dealt with very important plot developments was never shot due to the shortened shooting schedule. Whatever the reasons, the film has gotten some of the worst reviews for any film released this year and doing so poorly this weekend means for certain that it will be dropped by most theaters playing it by the end of the week.
In the meantime, Sony Pictures has a box office disaster of their own with Only The Brave, the new generic title for the originally much more interestingly titled, Granite Mountain, but was yet again another one of those ‘working-class-mostly-white-heroes-with-a loving-wife-back-at-home-who-battle-a-disaster-but-get-killed’-type of movies such as The Perfect Storm and Deepwater Horizon. I mean, who really wants to see a film where you know most of the cast is going to be dead by the end of the picture? The answer is not a lot, since the film opened in 5th place with only $6 million meaning The Snowman it isn’t going to be around much longer.
As for the films that are staying around, Blade Runner 2049 is hanging on in fourth place with also $7.2 million with $74 million. But the film has grossed an additional $120 million overseas. Meanwhile, the studio’s unexpected smash box office hit, It just keeps going with $.3.5 million and $320 million domestically and is inching closer to $700 million worldwide making it, along with Get Out, as one of the profitable movies made this year.
Last week’s No. 1, Happy Death Day dropped huge some 64 percent from last weekend meaning that the word of mouth is not so great for the film, but it still did well enough to come in third with $9.4 million. And Tom Cruise’s American Made is turning out to be a modest fall sleeper hit worldwide with $121 million to-date.
1) Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween LGF $21,650,000
2) Geostorm WB $13,300,000
3) Happy Death Day Uni. $9,375,000 Total; $40,683,365
4) Blade Runner 2049 WB $7,155,000 Total; $74,005,203
5) Only The Brave Sony $6,010,000
6) The Foreigner STX $5,450,000 Total; $22,844,253
7) It WB (NL) $3,500,000 Total; $320,234,616
8) The Snowman Uni. $3,442,000
9) American Made Uni. $3,162,000 Total; $45,503,735
10) Kingsman: The Golden Circle Fox $3,000,000 Total; $94,568,932
11) The Mountain Between Us Fox $2,750,000 Total; $25,528,885
12) Same Kind of Different as Me PFR $2,560,000