Box office hits and misses: ‘Madea’ scares off ‘Inferno’ for Halloween weekend win

Inferno movie review
After knocking off Tom Cruise and his Jack Reacher sequel last week, A Madea Halloween took aim at Tom Hanks and Inferno over the weekend and managed to come away with a win at the box office.

Tyler Perry’s seventh installment of his Madea series earned $16.6 million in its second week in theaters, topping the debut of Hanks and director Ron Howard’s Inferno. The latest installment from the Robert Langdon series earned a mere $15 million — well below box-office pundits’ predictions. A Madea Halloween is on pace to become the third or fourth highest-grossing film in writer-director Perry’s franchise at this point, even if it takes the expected dip in the coming weeks as the big fall movies begin arriving in theaters.

Despite its underwhelming debut in U.S. theaters, Inferno isn’t exactly in danger of falling into flop territory — not when you take into account its worldwide ticket sales. The third film in the trilogy that began with 2006’s The Da Vinci Code has already earned more than $132 million internationally due to an early premiere in Europe (where most of the film is set) and other regions. It has gone on to earn well beyond its $75 million production costs and gave the studio a silver lining of sorts to compensate for its domestic box-office disappointment.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Boo! A Madea Halloween $16.6M $52M $52.2M
2. Inferno $15M $15M $147.7M
3. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $9.5M $39.6M $93.8M
4. The Accountant $8.4M $61.2M $81.9M
5. Ouija: Origin of Evil $7M $24.6M $43.7M
6. The Girl on the Train $4.2M $65.9M $122.4M
7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $3.9M $79.8M $243.4M
8. Keeping up with the Joneses $3.3M $10.7M $15.8M
9. Storks $2.7M $68.2M $153.5M
10. Ae Dil Hai Muchkil $2.1M $2.1M $11.2M

The only other new release to crack the weekend’s top ten films was the Bollywood romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (which translates to “This Heart is Complicated”), which enjoyed a respectable $2.1 million debut in U.S. theaters. The film’s premiere offers yet another reminder not to underestimate the power of the Bollywood movie machine.

As for the returning films, Cruise’s aforementioned Jack Reacher sequel took a big drop in its second week and dipped below the $10 million mark. The film cost $60 million to make and has earned $93.8 million worldwide so far, but just $39.6 million in U.S. theaters.

One of the only other big surprises over the weekend was the unexpectedly poor showing for Ouija: Origins of Evil, the only pure horror movie with a major presence in theaters for the Halloween weekend. The movie has been earning positive reviews from critics and general audiences alike — far better than its 2014 predecessor — but only brought in $7 million over the weekend.

The upcoming weekend is going to be a busy one at theaters, with a wide variety of high-profile premieres. Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange will almost certainly win the weekend (barring any wild surprises), but the award-friendly festival darling Loving — a film many movie critics suggest has Academy Award potential — also arrives in theaters. The animated, family-friendly musical adventure Trolls also makes its debut, as well as the war drama Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Mel Gibson. Basically, there’s no telling how the box-office rankings will look after Doctor Strange a week from now.

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