Who would have thought that Hasbro would be one of the top players in the mainstream blockbuster movie game? As of 2014, only one of their movies has been a flop (Battleship), and this weekend’s movie choice, Ouija, seemed like the most surefire flop, given that it’s a OUIJA BOARD MOVIE. But never underestimate the Halloween marketplace and young audiences looking for PG-13 scares, as Ouija topped the box office with $20 million, likely far ahead of whatever its production budget was. 75 percent of the audience was under 25, and the movie will likely drop like a brick after October 31st, but Hasbro likely doesn’t care and will be laughing all the way to the bank, because they somehow managed to make a movie people wanted to see out of a game you don’t play after you’ve reached the age of reason.
The only other major opening was the surprisingly well-reviewed Keanu Reeves actioner John Wick, which opened in second place with $14.15 million, about on par with most free-standing action movies that don’t star Liam Neeson or come from a franchise. 77 percent of the audience was over 25 and 60 percent of it was male, not surprising given the content.
Last week’s first, second, and third place winners stayed in the exact same order while moving down two slots apiece. Fury dropped 45 percent with $13 million and $46 million overall, meaning it’s going to struggle to make it over its $68 million budget domestically (it’s racked up an additional $11 million overseas). Gone Girl is still holding on strong in its fourth week, adding $11.1 million to its $124 million total. And The Book of Life added $9.8 million for a $29.9 million total, along with $17 million from overseas, which is where it’s likely to make much of its money. Also of note is that the Bill Murray indie St. Vincent expanded this weekend and moved up to sixth place with $8 million for a $9.1 million total, an excellent number against its #13 million budget.
Next week’s only major releases are Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal and Before I Go To Sleep with Nicole Kidman, indie movies that wisely hope to get counterprogramming money for those not into the whole Halloween thing.