Medea Boo 2 Image

Madea Scares Up Top Opening on Crowded Weekend


October 20-22, 2017

(estimates from


Boo 2! A Madea Halloween  $21.6 million
Geostorm $13.3 million
Happy Death Day $9.3 million
Blade Runner 2049 $7.1 million
Only the Brave $6.0 million

Almost one year to the day, Madea was back in business, saying "Hellur" once again to spooky creatures. The sequel to last year's Boo! A Madea Halloween once again topped the box office, though it earned a few million dollars less. Once again, its relatively small budget and consistent audience support should lead it to turn a tidy profit for writer-director Tyler Perry and Lionsgate Films.

Despite a bigger budget and ad campaign, audiences weren't that interested in Geostorm. The marketing focused on the film's pervasive special effects, showing planes falling out of the sky and tidal waves consuming Miami. But unlike 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, this film won't be a massive global hit. It will just have to settle for being a joke in film circles, and probably a movie that will play a lot on TNT in a few years.

Happy Death Day fell in typical horror movie fashion, dropping to No. 3 and earning 64 percent less than it did last weekend when it topped the charts. Still, the movie has already made nearly 10 times its budget, which makes it one of the most purely successful movies of the year. Contrast that with the ultra-expensive Blade Runner 2049, which has yet to even cross $75 million domestically and $200 million internationally, despite opening in most major territories.

Finally, Only the Brave opened at No. 5 with just $6 million. That's well below what director Joseph Kosinski usually turns out. He scored sizable hits with Tron: Legacy and Oblivion. When it comes to firefighter movies, this one's going to make even less than Kirk Cameron's Fireproof. Ouch.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the latest off-beat film from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. The Academy Award nominee followed up last year's acclaimed The Lobster with this thriller, also starring Colin Farrell. Opening on just four screens, the film averaged $28,646.
  • Sorry, Mister Police. Terrible reviews helped melt The Snowman, which Universal was definitely hoping to be the latest October Movie for Adults Based on a Best-Seller (joining Gone Girl, The Martian and The Girl on the Train). But the film only managed a pitiful $3.4 million.
  • But even that was better than Same Kind of Different as Me. The inspirational true story aimed its marketing solely at the faith-based crowd, so even with a cast full of Oscar nominees, the movie sank. It opened way down at No. 12 with only $2.5 million.

Next week:

Halloween is back, baby, with the first new Saw movie in seven years. Can Jigsaw recapture the box office domination many of the original films had? With competition like Suburbicon and Thank You for Your Service, I'd say that's enough to open at No. 1 with around $20 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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