Keanu Reeves, once one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, will be competing against a board game thriller this weekend as John Wick opens against Ouija. In this case, it looks like the teen screamers might have the edge despite the overall stellar reviews for Reeves’ revenge pic—the latest R-rated film to hit a particularly crowded market. St. Vincent also expands nationwide after playing for two weeks in limited release, but its unlikely to crack the top five.
Here’s how things might play out:
1. Ouija — $20 million
In our board game adaptation happy marketplace, it’s kind of incredible that a movie based on every pre-teen’s favorite spooky seance game didn’t exist already. Universal is releasing the PG-13 pic from micro-budget horror masters Blumhouse Productions in 2,856 locations, Friday. Even though the cast is packed with a bunch of unknowns, proximity to Halloween is key for this one, which should easily win the weekend with at least an $18 to $20 million debut with much of that coming from teen audiences. The R-rated Annabelle exceeded expectations in early October with a $37 opening and could indicate that Ouija will over perform as well, but it also could have benefitted from “brand” association with The Conjuring.
2. John Wick — $15 million
Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman seeking revenge in this extremely stylish and well-reviewed actioner, which Lionsgate is releasing in 2,589 locations on over 3,000 screens (including IMAX and PLF). The studio is expecting a $7 to $8 million opening. It’s likely that this will exceed those modest predictions, though thanks to buzz, higher ticket prices, and the promise of a “fresh take on the assassin genre.” In his A- review, EW’s Chris Nashawaty wrote: “John Wick, is not only a return to badass form for the actor, it’s also one of the most excitingly visceral action flicks I’ve seen in ages.”
3. Fury — $14 million
David Ayer’s WWII tank drama should hold up to the fresh competition fairly well in week two, falling somewhere in the 35 to 40 percent range thanks to positive buzz coming out of its opening weekend. The $68 million pic has earned upwards of $31 million to date and could find itself just shy of $50 million by the weekend’s close.
4. Gone Girl — $12 million
Gone Girl will likely experience another slight percent drop in weekend four. The $61 million thriller has earned over $215 million worldwide to date.
5. Book of Life — $10 million
Lack of competition should put the animated fantasy in the $10 million range for its second weekend in theaters. November’s Big Hero 6 will likely be the next animated juggernaut, though.
A few Sundance pics hit theaters in limited release this weekend, including Laggies, starring Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Sam Rockwell, and White Bird in a Blizzard, starring Shailene Woodley. Laura Poitras’ well-reviewed Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour is being released in five theaters, and the Cannes-winning Force Majeure will also start its run.
Check back in this weekend for estimates and analysis.