Noted astrophysicist and astronaut Gerard Butler (stop laughing)

 

It was a hectic weekend flush with new releases, with a cheaply made comedy drowning others with massive budgets and a couple of those have already earning spots on the worst-of lists for the year. There was something offered up for most fans, but quality was the main challenge in luring in the ticket buyers. Hollywood loves to blame bad weather when the audience turnout is lower – they never seem to acknowledge when a bad weather-movie drives away the masses however.

Here is the flood of new titles that washed into the cineplex, and the disaster they left behind

 

  1. TYLER PERRY’S BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN – $21.5Million

Coming in with a lower budget than most of the field Perry delivers in all his familiar ways; he has a popular character, the varied cast, and his usual debut in the top slot for the weekend. This marks the tenth time Perry has opened a film at #1. He gives audiences what they want, and works on a discount, so why would he dream of altering that successful formula?

2.  GEOSTORM – $11.5m
Sure, sell me on the idea Gerard Butler is a brilliant astrophysicist who can save the entire planet from weather annihilation – let’s run with that premise! This delayed and restructured disaster of a disaster picture was doomed from the start. Lovers of bad cinema (ahem, like myself) have had this one on the radar for months.

Begun over 3 years ago it was supposed to have been released early in 2016. But it was then scalded by test audiences and the studio tried to fix things. This would be due to investing over $100million and realizing you are sitting on a blatant failure. New scenes were drawn up and a new director brought in for additional filming in the hopes of salvaging the mess they had on its hands. To say that didn’t work is understatement. This performed so poorly this weekend’s revenue does not even cover the costs of those reshoots. People in Cocoa Beach Florida could see the mushroom cloud over Hollywood from their back porch as a result of this disaster.

 

3.  HAPPY DEATH DAY – $9.37m
Last week’s overperforming horror hit continues a strong run. Even with a high drop in it’s second week (-64%) it did well enough to eclipse some new releases with bigger investments behind them. Hard to go wrong with a fright-fest in the month of October.

 

4.  BLADE RUNNER 2049 – $7.15m
Already shedding over 800 theaters is just its third week, this was at one time expected to be an Autumnal blockbuster. Instead it has become an anchor for Warners, which is now resting all hopes on the foreign box office pulling in enough revenue to break even on this venture.

 

5.  ONLY THE BRAVE – $6.01m
This based-on-true-events drama is a firefighting hero tale that has received both positive reviews (90% on RottenTomatoes) and positive audience reactions (CineScore grade of “A”). Yet it managed to underperform against modest expectations. It is one of those occurrences that will have studios watching game film the next week; while the current Northern California wildfires seemingly gave this title gravity, did the tone of the film hit too close to those suffering from that calamity?

 

6.  THE FOREIGNER – $5.45m
While Jackie Chan was lauded decently by critics for this dramatic actioner it had a tepid opening and was lost in the shuffle of a busy release weekend.

 

7.  IT – $3.5m
All the testament you need to its success is that after seven weeks in release it is still holding on over 60% of its original screens from it release. You know, that — and its $650million global revenues earned.

 

8.  THE SNOWMAN – $3.44m
Arriving at about one half of its very modest projected return for the weekend, this potential “thriller” has placed itself as one of the embarrassments of the year. Michael Fassbender plays a character named Harry Hole (I swear) and he looked extremely serious in this serial killer procedural. It did not warrant that kind of performance.

 

9.  AMERICAN MADE – $3.16
Globally Universal has taken in just over $120million for this action piece, so once everything is played out (home theater, TV rights, etc.) they may squeeze out a small profit out of this effort.

 

10.  KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE – $3.0m
Still playing on over 2,000 screens, this shows there was enough interest throughout a busy month of competition. Makes you wonder if it would have done better in the lightly competitive February – March release window the original film enjoyed.