A-list status may get you the best roles in Hollywood, but it doesn’t guarantee stellar box office results.
Case in point: the last two weekends, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween dominated the box office, defeating anticipated blockbusters The Accountant, Inferno and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Sorry, Ben Affleck, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise.
Perry’s latest movie about his tough-talking grandmother remained No. 1 for the second straight week with an estimated $16.7 million.
People who saw the film shared their positive opinions on Twitter.
People even designed their Halloween costumes after Madea.
That was enough to scare away the third installment of the Da Vinci Code franchise. According to studio estimates Sunday, Inferno bombed with $15 million, about half of what more bullish predictions anticipated.
“Certainly we thought of the film as for the international market. We knew that’s where the sweet spot was going to be,” said Rory Bruer, domestic distribution chief for Sony. “We got a few bad breaks, the biggest being this historical World Series.” (Friday night’s Game 3 between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians drew 19.4 million viewers, a 12-year-best, and Saturday night’s Game 4 was watched by 15.1 million.)
But the unexpectedly poor performance of Inferno was yet another example of an anxious trend in the movie business: More of the same isn’t working.
“Inferno joins the long list of sequels that didn’t measure up to their predecessors this year and in particular this summer when only three of the 14 sequels released outperformed their immediate predecessors at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.
Hanks has still notched the fall’s biggest hit, Clint Eastwood’s Sully. It’s been an especially star-studded season, with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ($9.6 million in its second week) and Ben Affleck in The Accountant ($8.5 million in its third week).
But Perry’s long-running character has fared better than each, at least in North America. The Halloween-themed Boo, released by Lionsgate, has made $52 million in 10 days, making it Perry’s biggest hit since 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail.
With files from Jake Coyle/The Associated Press