Last weekend’s number one movie, Ouija, and the debuting Nightcrawler hold a virtual tie for the top grossing film over the slowest Halloween weekend in four years. Despite the small opening, Nightcrawler is already profitable having already surpassed its $8 million budget thanks to a career defining performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and a main character that is – as our own Taylor Garrett Pannell said in his review of the thriller – “one of the more fascinating characters to grace the screen in easily the past few years.”
Ouija, on the other hand, dipped considerably with 45% less revenue than last week despite opening in 41 more theaters. The film has already blown past its $5 million budget by grossing $35 million in the past week, so the horror cash-in has more than done its duty and it can happily die in the back of everyone’s minds until a DVD is released and we can all say “hey remember when we spent money to see that turd in a theater?”
Keanu Reeve’s stellar return to the action scene, John Wick, slipped considerably as well – grossing 44% less than last week and seeing its per-theater average drop by $2,000. Overall, it slipped to the number six film of the weekend (after being number two last weekend) despite only one debut competing with it.
Gone Girl and The Book of Life both had strong weekends despite their showing locations diminishing as their theater runs come to and end. Coming in at number four and number five respectively for the second weekend in a row, the duo of critically well-received films have both of their per-theater averages hovering around $3,000 overall.
By far the best earning film per-theater over the weekend was Birdman. Despite only showing in 231 theaters (compared to, say, Fury’s 3,313 theater locations), movie goers still flocked to see Michael Keaton play a washed-up superhero movie star to the tune of $2.5 million gross revenue – or $10,866 per-theater. No other film was even came near that amount, as the next closest was Citizenfour at $5.7 million per-theater. Even still, that is nothing close to Birdman’s $27.6 million from last week. Bottom line is, people desperately want to see this movie and it’s going to make a huge chunk of change the more theaters it shows up in. This last weekend it was being showed in an additional 181 theaters over last week and that number is expected to climb.
Rowan Jaffe’s thriller Before I Go To Sleep got off to a abysmal start over the weekend, debuting at number 14 and grossing a mere $2 million, despite showing in over 2,000 theaters nationwide. It has some definite star power behind it, with a cast of Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman and producer Ridley Scott, but that hasn’t helped it overcome poor ratings – 37% on Rotten Tomatoes – and a lack of advertising.
And finally Horns, starring rap legend Daniel Radcliffe, also had a rocky limited release debut, bringing in only $1,010 in 103 theaters. The novel-based thriller had its first showings at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
Last year was the polar opposite of 2014’s Halloween weekend. Led by a debuting blockbuster Ender’s Game and a fading Bad Grandpa, the weekend grossed nearly $130 million, compared to this year’s weak $95 million. It kicked off what eventually became a fantastic month of November for 2013, with a mainstream blockbuster coming nearly every weekend including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World.Source: Box Office Mojo