Four new wide releases hit theaters nationwide this Friday, meaning the impending box office showdown could be one of the most intense of the season thus far. Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis enter the arena with their comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses, while horror fans will get their genre fix from the latest Universal/Blumhouse production Ouija: Origin of Evil.
It’s Tom Cruise and Tyler Perry who will duke it out for the crown, however, as Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Boo! A Madea Halloween try to make their mark.
Here’s what the Oct. 21-23 box office chart could look like on Sunday:1. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – $18 million
Since the release of 2007’s Lions for Lambs, Tom Cruise has not toplined a major movie that has grossed under $76 million domestically. Though 2012’s Jack Reacher seemed to get off to a shaky start hardly worthy of a sequel (it opened to $15.2 million), the film had staying power, ultimately finishing its global run with $218 million in ticket sales.
While the film’s cinematic continuation, subtitled Never Go Back, won’t have legs nearly as long as its forerunner’s, the sequel will likely perform better across its freshman three-day frame thanks, in part, to Paramount’s robust marketing campaign.
The $60 million production, which sees Cruise’s return as the titular character alongside series newcomer Cobie Smulders, opens in an additional 40 markets this weekend, representing around 75 percent of its planned international footprint. Its global performance will be helped immeasurably by the popularity of the novels upon which the film is based, 18 installments of which have sold in excess of 100 million copies around the world, meaning there’s an eager, built-in audience out there waiting to lap up Cruise’s latest big screen action-adventure.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back could pull in a number between $16-21 million this weekend.2. Boo! A Madea Halloween – $16 million
Though his Madea series has yet to notch a single fresh entry on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s no denying Tyler Perry’s ability to stick his landing with a niche audience. Of the five Madea films that have been released since Diary of a Mad Black Woman bowed to $21.9 million across its debut weekend in 2005, only 2013’s A Madea Christmas opened below the $20 million mark; no matter how you slice it, the director’s films make money — and often on micro budgets. Diary ($50.6 million) cost a mere $5.5 million to produce, while follow-up title Madea’s Family Reunion ($63.3 million) was made for under $6 million. Boo! A Madea Halloween, produced on a $20 million budget, is poised to carry on the 11-year history of the series’ success, with an opening weekend (fronted by Thursday evening previews) expected to tally in the $13-17 million range on approximately 2,200 screens.3. The Accountant – $14 million
Last week, The Accountant bolstered star Ben Affleck’s winning track record at the domestic box office with a solid $24.7 million start. Though the film failed to leave a lasting impression on critics, polled audience members gave the film a rare A grade on CinemaScore, meaning strong word-of-mouth should soften the film’s decline as it heads into its second weekend in wide release.4. Ouija: Origin of Evil – $13.5 million
Ouija: Origin of Evil continues 2016’s string of critically well-received, inexpensive horror titles like Lights Out, The Conjuring 2, and Don’t Breathe. With glowing reviews from critics (it stands at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.4/10) and a budget hovering around $9 million, the Universal/Blumhouse sequel is on-track to gross a healthy number in the mid-teens across its opening weekend.5. The Girl on the Train – $6.2 million
Earlier this week, The Girl on the Train chugged past its $45 million budget at the domestic box office, with a total that sits just under $51 million as the film enters its third weekend in theaters. Based on the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins, the thriller ultimately failed to generate moviegoer interest to match its source materials sales, though it remains star Emily Blunt’s strongest North American performer since 2014’s Into the Woods. Look for the film to drop in the 40-50 percent range this weekend.
Outside the top 5, the $35 million Isla Fisher/Gal Gadot comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses should wind up with about $6-8 million after opening on 3,021 screens.