Ouija makes contact with idiot spirits who have money to burn, St. Vincent is the kind of clown that’s crying on the inside, Laggies doesn’t lag behind, John Wick underwhelms goddammit, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
The world is a cruel, horrible, and uncaring place where anything good will fail miserably whilst anything bad rakes in the cash hand-over-fist. That’s my theory, in any case, as to why Ouija triumphed over John Wick at the box office this weekend. The former, a strongly-marketed PG-13 horror film with dreadful reviews released near-Halloween to capitalise on a seasonal desire to be spooked in some way, took first place with $20 million in ticket sales. The latter, a lightly-marketed R-rated action film with excellent reviews slotted into a free weekend of a ridiculously cramped release schedule, took second place with $14 million in ticket sales. Sure, you could point to other factors that would cause a film like John Wick to underwhelm, but I’m sticking with my initial conclusion: people suck.
Ah, well. At least John Wick wasn’t 23 Blast, the faith-based sports biopic about Larry Freeman, a man who lost his eyesight but still managed to go on and play in the NFL anyway. That film got its start in 617 theatres, maybe even had big aspirations as to overall total gross and its standing in life, only to have them snatched away from it by a cruel, uncaring public. It only managed to make $402,000, making its opening weekend the 11th worst for any wide release film ever, and with a dismal $652 per-screen average to boot. This would be the point where I make cruel tasteless jokes at the film’s expense, but I find this just too sad to crack wise at. On the bright side, it still opened better than last week’s Men, Women & Children. So at least it has that going for it.
In limited release news, Laggies, the new film from Lynne Shelton which has been renamed to Say When in the UK for some reason, got its start in 5 theatres and banked a respectable $78,500 – for a per-screen average of $15,700. Citizenfour, a documentary about Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal, did much better, managing to confiscate itself $125,000 from 5 screens worth of people who fancied a change of pace; one has their limits when it comes to buzzed-about Indie Dramedies, after all. Meanwhile, Studio Ghibli’s The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya expanded to 20 theatres and raked in a far less impressive $63,500, for a per-screen average of $3,175, as a sad reminder that most people don’t seem to give a sh*t about Ghibli if the film isn’t made by Miyazaki. Dammit.
Finally, we have multiple expanders, the most successful of which was the Bill Murray-led St. Vincent. Admittedly, it’s the only one that went nationwide and boats the advantage of having Bill Murray in the lead role, but it still managed to crack the Top 10 with $8 million in ticket sales. Whiplash, which I want in my life now DAMMIT, added 25 more theatres to its slow conquest of America and managed a decent $266,000 from all 46 of them. The provocative Dear White People, which still looks amazing and still doesn’t have a UK release date for NO GODDAMN REASON, jumped up to 384 screens and finished with a much more down-to-earth and expected total of $1,384,000. Birdman, meanwhile, expanded to 50 screens and did exactly as well as a film like Birdman is expected to do – $1,436,000 and a per-screen average of $28,720.
This Full List was a final gift from John Wick’s dying wife.
Box Office Results: Friday 24th October 2014 – Sunday 26th October 2014
$20,006,000 / NEW
This seems like as good a time as any to tell Owen that I will not be coming into “work” for a week commencing on January 23rd. That’s when Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell comes out and I sequester myself away from the world for a straight week to do nothing but play it. I live for the simple things, like a new Saints Row with an increased focus on Kinzie Kensington, the greatest character in anything ever. So, yeah, sorry Owen. Can’t say you weren’t notified, though!
2] John Wick
$14,150,000 / NEW
This is no longer coming out in the UK this year. I have to wait until January 2nd to watch John Wick. This was NOT THE GODDAMN DEAL, LIONSGATE!! I was supposed to get John Wick at Christmas! It was all-but-guaranteed a spot on my Top 10 of 2014! To withhold it until next year is evil, ya hear?! Pure evil! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! (*goes on like this for another 5 or 6 pages*)
$13,000,000 / $46,050,000
OK, that’s not a good hold at all. Considering the star attached to it, the level of advertising that it’s received, and the fact that pretty much nothing came out this week, this should have held better than a 45% drop. Owen’s review went live last Tuesday if you want to know if there’s a reason as to why few came back for repeat showings.
4] Gone Girl
$11,100,000 / $124,093,000
Battle lines have been drawn in my Film Studies course over Gone Girl. You either love it, like I and several students do, or you hate it, like most of our lecturers seem to. If this doesn’t end with a full-on all-out war, then I am going to be sorely disappointed. At least I know that I will be on the right side of history if everything does kick off!
5] The Book Of Life
$9,800,000 / $29,913,000
Of course I saw it this weekend, who do you think I am? The only reason as to why I haven’t reviewed it yet is quite simply because I haven’t had the time. It’ll be up by Wednesday at the latest. Short version: really good, best looking animated film I have seen all year, last 30 minutes are incredibly rushed. It absolutely needs to be seen, definitely way more than it currently is. If you’re still on the fence though, quite rightly believing that my opinion means sh*t, then know that the film is Lauren Faust and Craig McCracken approved!
6] St. Vincent
$8,058,000 / $9,189,000
There’s a part of me that wants to just talk about the music of Annie Clark instead, but I get the feeling that this one is going to hang around next week, so I’ll hold off on bombarding you with links until then. You should listen to St. Vincent anyway, though.
7] Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
$7,023,000 / $45,544,000
So I was all set to see this Saturday but, before I’d even set off for the cinema, the screening I was planning on going to had sold out. That came as a surprise, but rest assured that I will be seeing this at my next free occurrence, which is Wednesday! I may accidentally miss awards bait dramas, I may miss horror flicks, and I may even accidentally miss awful-looking action flicks, but I shall never miss an insufferable looking live-action family film! That’s just not my style!
8] The Best Of Me
$4,736,000 / $17,663,000
…THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST…
9] The Judge
$4,345,000 / $34,377,000
Yeah, I ended up missing this one. I was too busy in its opening week and all showings were pulled this week at my Cineworld, so that was the end of that. I could have gone to a different cinema and paid money, but my remaining cash went to My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks (review here) and bis gig tickets and like f*ck am I willingly spending money on this cure for insomnia! So, goodbye, The Judge! At least be glad that I didn’t make any Arrested Development references during your stay! That takes restraint!
10] Dracula Untold
$4,302,000 / $48,328,000
… … … …nope. Can’t do it. Can’t let The Judge escape without an Arrested Development reference. Hit it, William Hung & His Hung Jury!
Dropped Out: Annabelle, The Equalizer, The Maze Runner