November 2, 2014

EARLY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: “Nightcrawler” and “Ouija” Battle For Slow Weekend Title


The movie business rebounded from Halloween on Saturday, with substantial gains for just about everything.  Somewhat surprisingly, the second weekend of OUIJA (Blumhouse/Universal) is challenging the new release NIGHTCRAWLER (Open Road) for the diminished weekend’s honors.  Ouija overperformed early estimates on Friday, pulling ahead with $3.5M to Nightcrawler‘s $3.2M.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, on Saturday Ouija continued to be narrowly ahead, $5.2M vs $4.8M, and although we may not know the ultimate victor until final box office figures are released on Monday, it appears that Ouija could exceed $11M (which would be a strong hold for a horror movie, down less than 45% from last weekend), while Nightcrawler may be $1M or so below.

The adult-oriented holdovers FURY (QED/Columbia/Sony), GONE GIRL (20th) and JOHN WICK (Lionsgate) had even happier Saturdays, all of them at least doubling their Friday numbers.  Fury should be down less than 40% from last weekend to $8-9M, still on its way to $75=80M in the US.  Gone Girl is right behind it, down a tiny 25-30% on its 5th weekend to $8M+, with a $150M US total dead ahead.  John Wick should fall less than 50% to $7.5M, and could top $40M in the US.  Both Fury and John Wick will still need international success to hit profit, but that should be doable for each of them.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."