by: Madelyn Glymour | Contributor
The problem with these week’s predictions is that everything is going to do poorly. The week’s two new releases are Nightcrawler and Before I Go to Sleep. It seems clear that Before I Go to Sleep isn’t going to break $5 million, let alone into the double digits (due, presumably, to its extremely low awareness). Nightcrawler is primed to do better, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to do well; my predicted $12 million is actually a pretty generous estimate, considering the tracking.
Yet $12 million could very well be enough to win the weekend. The other recent releases — Ouija and John Wick, both in their second week — only opened to $19.8 million and $14.4 million, respectively. It’s not inconceivable that Ouija could win the weekend, especially if Nightcrawler underperforms, but it would have to limit its drop to 40 percent in order to beat $12 million. By comparison, Annabelle dropped 57 percent between its first and second weekends. Sure, Annabelle had more competition (four new movies bowed in its second week), but it was also better reviewed, tied to a popular existing movie, and much more financially successful than Ouija.
John Wick, on the other hand, with its strong word-of-mouth and excellent reviews, could limit its drop. But since it only made $14.4 million to start with, there’s no way it can hold onto enough audience to outdo Nightcrawler. Fury and Gone Girl, which are in their third and fifth weeks respectively, aren’t even in contention; with Interstellar and Big Hero 6 debuting next weekend, it’s likely Gone Girl‘s last week in the top five.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Facebook Likes||Tweets|
|OUIJA||$19.876 million||$22.249 million||1,228,203||293,103|
|JOHN WICK||$14.416 million||$17.339 million||89,493||53,608|
|FURY||$23.702 million||$49.115 million||418,504||10,155*|
|GONE GIRL||$37.513 million||$126.017 million||299,473||31,440|
The problem, of course, is Halloween. While it might help Ouija, it’s going to hurt everything else, as audiences skip Friday night at the movies to go to parties or parades or hand out candy. That means both that there are fewer and lower-profile movies out this weekend, and that what movies there are won’t do as well. And since all of the top five are going to have low weekend hauls, most of their grosses will probably be within a million or so of each other — which makes the exact order hard to predict.
In fact, there are several movies — Before I Go to Sleep, the tenth anniversary Saw rerelease, and even The Book of Life, now in its third week — that stand a chance of making close to $5 million, and it’s possible that any of them could end up taking the #5 spot. It turns out that when everything’s doing poorly, there’s not much room for variation.
|Critics||Users||# of Ratings||Stars||# of Ratings|
(Sources: boxoffice.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Starred figures are estimates. Tweets represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)