Another October week, another bad horror movie topping the charts. Stiles White’s directorial debut Ouija came out of the gate swinging, bringing in $20 million over the weekend to top the action revenge flick John Wick. Reviews so far for the film that revolves around a board game murdering people have been almost universally poor during it’s opening week. Because of this, it is unlikely to receiving much word of mouth support as it heads forward into next week and goes up against a slew of horror titles including my personally most anticipated, Nightcrawler.
John Wick, on the other hand, has been hailed as the next big action thriller movie and is currently sporting a solid 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In it, a surprisingly spry Keanu Reeves (who, in case you didn’t know, also wanted to be Wolverine and Batman) plays an ex-hitman being pursued by an old friend. Rather generic story, but the action is intense, frequent, and coherent – a deadly combination that doesn’t happen often in Hollywood these days. There’s even talk that the film could be made into a franchise. We all know how good sequels starring Keanu Reeves are, so look forward to that.
Other than that, it was a pretty calm weekend for openers. 23 Blast, the film about a high school football star dealing with being severely crippled, grossed a disappointing $402,000 in a limited theater release. The worst news, though, is that only equates to a pitiful $652 per theater which is in the bottom five for movies over the past weekend.
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman topped the per theater average by grossing $1.4 million in only 50 theaters or roughly $28,000 per theater. It helps that the film has received almost all positive reviews and is generating some serious Oscar buzz between Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, and Emma Stone all giving fantastic performances in such a uniquely shot movie.
Back to the top five grossing for the weekend – Ouija and John Wick were followed by Fury ($13 million), Gone Girl ($11.1 million), and The Book of Life ($9.8 million) rounding out the top honors. Despite its high weekly ranking, Fury is essentially in a free fall. Its theater presences hasn’t diminished at all, as it is still showing in over three thousand locations nationwide, but its gross revenue dropped 46% week over week, despite mostly positive reviews.
Just barely missing out on the top five, and coming out of nowhere after being released in 2,214 more theaters compared to last week, was the Bill Murray comedy St. Vincent. Despite a severe lack of marketing, the film boasts some huge star power with the aforementioned Bill Murray as well as Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, and Chris O’Dowd. This will be one to keep an eye on as it gradually generates word of mouth interest and horror fatigue starts to set in for October movie goers.
Looking back at this weekend last year, we were treated to the surprisingly competent and touching Bad Grandpa (which is now available on Netflix and we reviewed last month). Behind that were Gravity and Captain Phillips still going strong despite not being their opening weekends. Both of these films went on to win several Oscars and critical acclaim. You got robbed, Bad Grandpa. Robbed I tell ya.