Weekend Box Office: A Case of the Creepy Crawlies

With Halloween falling on a Friday, the box office took a hard hit this weekend, which was one of the weakest of the year.

Estimates place the top two titles only $9,000 apart, so neither one can quite claim victory yet. Until the weekend actuals come in later this morning, Jake Gyllenhaal’s thriller ‘Nightcrawler‘ sits in the top spot with $10,909,000. With a rumored budget of $4.5 million, this debut isn’t as bad as it looks. It’ll be interesting to see how ‘Nightcrawler’ pans out over the long run. While critic reviews have been positive, the needed word-of-mouth from moviegoers isn’t so strong. Plus, with ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Big Hero 6’ sweeping into theaters this coming weekend, the market for this dark film might run dry.

At this point, the #2 movie is last weekend’s top title, ‘Ouija‘. With $10.9 million, the teen-friendly scare flick held over much better than expected. After dropping just 45%, the $5 million film now sits with a healthy ten-day average of $34.9 million.

Brad Pitt’s war movie ‘Fury‘ dropped into third place in its third weekend. With a very slight 32% drop-off, the movie earned another $9.1 million, giving it a 17-day total of $60.4 million. Holding over even stronger was ‘Gone Girl‘, which only fell 20% and grossed $8.8 million. To date, ‘Gone Girl’ has pulled in $136.6 million and passed Ben Affleck’s Best Picture-winner ‘Argo‘.

The Book of Life‘ rounded out the Top 5 with the best holdover percentage of the weekend. After slipping 17%, the animated musical added $8.3 million, placing its 17-day total at $40.5 million.

Neither of the other new wide releases was able to crack to the Top 10, even on this slow weekend. Nicole Kidman’s thriller ‘Before I Go to Sleep‘ opened in the fourteenth spot with just $2 million. On 1,902 screens, its per-screen average was only $1,065.

The other flop was the tenth anniversary re-release of ‘Saw‘. From 2,063 locations, the torture-porn classic (is that the right word?) only pulled in $650,000. Its per-screen average of $315 makes this one of the worst debuts of all time for a movie opening on more than 2,000 screens.

Daniel Radcliffe’s weird horror drama ‘Horns‘ didn’t do too well on the big screen. However, this marks one of the first times that a distributor has announced a movie’s VOD numbers along with its box office total, and those figures aren’t too shabby. At the box office, ‘Horns’ grossed $104,000 from 103 locations, but after being available on streaming services for four weeks, it’s earned more than $1 million. Hopefully we’ll start getting more VOD totals from distributors.

The debut numbers for ‘ABCs of Death 2’ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Nightcrawler’ (Open Road) – $10,909,000

2. ‘Ouija’ (Universal) – $10,900,000

3. ‘Fury’ (Sony) – $9,100,000

4. ‘Gone Girl’ (Fox) – $8,800,000

5. ‘The Book of Life’ (Fox) – $8,300,000

6. ‘John Wick’ (Lionsgate/Summit) – $8,050,000

7. ‘St. Vincent’ (Weinstein) – $7,752,000

8. ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ (Buena Vista) – $6,485,000

9. ‘The Judge’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,400,000

10. ‘Dracula Untold’ (Universal) – $2,946,000

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