Box Office: Nightcrawler Narrowly Takes The Weekend With $10.9 Million

With a face like this, how could audiences resist Nightcrawler this weekend?

Halloween weekend proved to be a box office killer. Nightcrawler and last week’s #1, Ouija, competed for the top spot, but neither lit the box office on fire as both averaged around $10.9 million. Without a new Paranormal Activity or Saw (though the original Saw did celebrate its 10th anniversary with a limited release) the top 10 was down considerably.

A $10.9 million opening for the Jake Gyllenhaal-starring Nightcrawler is a good start, since the Open Road Films release was budgeted around $8 million. With strong critical acclaim, especially for Gyllenhaal’s award-worthy performance, conceivably it could remain in the top 10 talk for the next few weeks if Open Road wanted to press the issue. Whether or not it will be in the discussion for Oscar is another conversation entirely.

Universal’s Ouija had an audience drop of 45%, which is quite good for most horror movies in their second weekend. $34.5 million in earnings so far isn’t bad for the $5 million feature. In terms of new thrills and chills, Clarius Entertainment’s Before I Go to Sleep flopped big time. The thriller based on the novel by S.J. Rozan may have starred the likes of Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman but with a 1,902-screen release, audiences would rather go trick-or-treating or attend costume parties than see this quick reunion of the stars of The Railway Man. The only redeeming quality is that Firth plays a character that is far removed from his Pride & Prejudice‘s Mr. Darcy.

Places three through five on the top 10 (Fury, Gone Girl, and The Book of Life) had good holds. The best of the bunch is the animated Book of Life which only had a 17.4% decrease in earnings from last weekend. Gone Girl is now David Fincher’s highest-grossing domestic release, surpassing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Worldwide it has grossed $279 million.

With a lack of competition this weekend it allowed the likes of Alexander…, The Judge and Dracula Untold to remain at the bottom of the list. Bill Murray’s St. Vincent gained 270 screens to bring its count to 2,552 and its audience increased a tenth of a point as it earned $7.7 million. Keanu Reeves killing baddies by the dozens in John Wick had a 44.2% drop but with $27.5 million after two weekends it is well on its way to becoming a bigger domestic hit than his last major release, the $150 million 47 Ronin.

Internationally, the talk has been about Guardians of the Galaxy and it surpassing Maleficent to become the second-highest grossing film of 2014. Foreign totals are also helping the bottom line of Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and EuroCorp’s Lucy, the latter of which is the best performing action film in Luc Besson’s career.

As far as Oscar Watch goes, Birdman widened its expansion from 50 to 231 theaters and took $2.5 million as a result.

In limited release, TWC Radius’ Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe only grossed $104,654 from 103 theaters. But the film is readily available on VOD. The strategy is not unlike what Radius did with Snowpiercer, but unlike Snowpiercer Horns just isn’t that good.

Upcoming we have Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar against Disney’s animated Big Hero 6. Both should help elevate the poor returns of the Halloween weekend.

Full top 10 below.

01. Nightcrawler — $10,909,000
02. Ouija — $10,900,000 ($34,963,000)
03. Fury — $9,100,000 ($60,437,000)
04. Gone Girl — $8,800,000 ($136,602,000)
05. The Book of Life — $8,300,000 ($40,524,000)
06. John Wick — $8,050,000 ($27,589,000)
07. St. Vincent — $7,752,000 ($19,527,000)
08. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $6,485,000 ($53,626,000)
09. The Judge — $3,400,000 ($39,550,000)
10. Dracula Untold — $2,946,000 ($52,859,000)

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