Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Good weekend for low budget films

Published:Monday | September 14, 2015 | 12:23 AM
Michael Ealy is 'The Perfect Guy'.
Tom Cruise (left) and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, which topped international figures.
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LOS ANGELES (AP):

The Perfect Guy and The Visit sailed past modest opening weekend expectations (and budgets) locking in debuts in the mid-US$20 million range thanks in part to good timing and robust female turnout.

The Perfect Guy, a PG-13 rated thriller starring Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy, secured the first place spot with US$26.7 million, according to Rentrak estimates yesterday. The Sony/Screen Gems film cost only US$12 million to produce.

M Night Shyamalan's nail-biter The Visit, a US$5 million production from micro-budget horror-makers Blumhouse, took a close second with an estimated US$25.7 million for distributor Universal. With numbers this close the places might shift when today's actuals roll in, but both films are resounding successes on a weekend that often doesn't go noticed on the release calendar.

"We're not breaking any records, but this is the perfect weekend for these films," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Rentrak. "Studios are finding a land of opportunity in weekends that were heretofore 'slow weekends' at the box office and proving that audiences are always looking for new content."

Female audiences helped The Perfect Guy shoot to the number one spot. An estimated 69 per cent were women and 58 per cent over the age of 25.

"It bodes well for the longevity of the film. Not only is it a date movie, but it's a film that girlfriends are going to go to together as well," said Rory Bruer, Sony's president of Worldwide Distribution. Audiences also gave the film a promising A- CinemaScore.

The Visit also saw a majority female audience (60 per cent) on opening weekend, although existing crowds gave this one a B- CinemaScore. This is the eighth successful US$20-plus million opening for producer Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions, which specialises in micro-budget horror films, including the Insidious and Paranormal Activity series.

"Jason Blum is really continuing to develop his brand name. People look to those films as having something special about them. It's magical when that combines with M Night Shyamalan, who has absolutely built his reputation on mining the unexpected. It's a great combination," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of Domestic Distribution.

In third place, War Room continues to prove mightily powerful with US$7.4 million in its third weekend in theatres, but the faith-based categorisation isn't always a sure revelation. 90 Minutes in Heaven, a Christian film starring Kate Bosworth, opened in ninth place to only US$2.2 million from 878 locations. It's a fine result for the film, but pales in comparison to War Room, which now boasts a US$39.2 million domestic total.

A Walk in the Woods and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation rounded out the top five with US$4.7 million and US$4.2 million, respectively. Mission: Impossible also earned a gigantic US$91.3 million internationally this weekend, with China accounting for US$86 million of the total.

This weekend was in some ways the last gasp before the fall movie season starts in earnest with a number of high profile releases.

"Both The Perfect Guy and The Visit took full advantage of a perfect release date before Sicario, Everest, Black Mass, and The Scorch Trials all open," said Dergarabedian. "It's going to be a veritable traffic jam at the box office next weekend."

Following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released today.

1. The Perfect Guy - US$26.7m

2. The Visit - US$25.7m

3. War Room - US$7.4m

4. A Walk in the Woods - US$4.7m

5. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - US$4.2m

6. Straight Outta Compton - US$4.1m

7. No Escape - US$2.9m

8. Transporter Refueled, US$2.7m

9. 90 Minutes in Heaven - US$2.2m

10. Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos - US$1.9m

 

Following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at international cinemas (excluding the US and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - US$91.3m

2. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials - US$26.8m

3. Minions - US$26.1m

4. Fack ju Gohte 2 - US$20m

5. Legend, Inside Out (tie) - US$5.3m

6. Pixels, The Transporter Refueled (tie) - $5.2m

7. Ant-Man - US$5.1m

8. Hitman: Agent 47 - US$5m

9. Straight Outta Compton - US$4.3m

10. The Visit - US$3.8m