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Box-Office: ‘Ouija’ & ‘Nightcrawler’ Fight For Number 1, ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ Becomes The 2nd Highest Grossing Film Of 2014

Box-Office: ‘Ouija’ & ‘Nightcrawler’ Fight For Number 1, ‘Guardians of The Galaxy' Becomes The 2nd Highest Grossing Film Of 2014

As weekend standards go, it was a poor box-office showing this weekend. Both “Nightcrawler” and “Ouija” fought for the top spot both averaging around $10.9 million, but these are dismal numbers, especially for a cheapo horror film coming out before Halloween. The top 10 gross was about a collective and low $76.6 million; that’s down 34% from 2013 and 36% from 2012. While it was on 2,766 screens, $10.9 million was a good start for the $8 million-costing “Nightcrawler” which has much more of an indie sensibility than a multiplex one. Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is Oscar-worthy, has been routinely praised by critics, and its studio Open Road isn’t a mini-major, so hopefully they can keep the drum beating and take those grosses higher. An Oscar nomination wouldn’t hurt, but that’s if “Nightcrawler” lasts in theaters that long.

Universal’s “Ouija” dropped 45% in its second week, but that’s actually quite a good number for a horror movie as those pictures tend to plummet in their second week, let alone rarely hold onto the #1 slot again. Released on 1,902 screens, Clarius Entertainment’s “Before I Go To Sleep” was a big flop despite Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth as the leads. It was the only other new picture in wide release outside of “Nightcrawler,” almost didn’t crack the top 15 and only grossed $2.02 million. Sometimes dreadful reviews do matter. This weekend was the 10th anniversary of the torture porn hit “Saw” and Lionsgate re-released the movie into over 2,000 screens, but this plot backfired; the rerelease flopped with $650k. That’s a pitiful $315 per screen average. And a hearty congratulations to “Saw: 10th Anniversary” as this is the worst opening of 2014 for any film in more than 2000 theaters and it is the third worst such opening ever since 1982, according to Box Office Mojo’s chart.

The rest of the box-office was rather unremarkable, but “Fury,” “Gone Girl” and “The Book Of Life” showed extremely good holds, all having less than 32% drops with “Book Of Life” showing an incredible 17.4% decrease from last weekend. Notably, “Gone Girl” is now at $279 million worldwide and “Fury” has almost cracked the $100 million mark worldwide, but internationally it still has many more major markets to open in. But strong holds were felt across the board — “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (9.9%), “The Judge” (22.1%) and “Dracula Untold” refused to fall out of the top 10 with a surprisingly low 33% drop in its fourth week of release (it’s at $188m worldwide currently).

John Wick” fell 44% in week two (still not bad) and but The Weinstein Company‘s “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray is actually rising, going up 0.1% from last weekend. It’s in 2,552 theaters and grossed another $7.7 million. This is an extremely positive sign for the Oscar-hopeful. In milestones, “The Maze Runner” crossed the $300 million mark worldwide and by next weekend it should be close to $100 domestically. The former gross means it has outperformed the supposedly bigger YA franchise “Divergent” which stalled out at $288 worldwide earlier this year.

Internationally, China continues to prove its increasing global importance. “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” and “Iron Man 3” didn’t have sequences shot in that country by accident. Johnny Depp didn’t just do a massive press tour there for “Transcendence” by chance. The market there is huge and it’s forcing American films to compensate in any way they can. We’ve already seen “Guardians Of The Galaxy” surge at the international box-office again when it opened in China three weeks ago (it’s grossed nearly $100 million in that country alone and will cross that mark next weekend). Thanks to those increases in China the movie has now surpassed “Maleficent” and has become the second highest grossing movie of the year worldwide with a massive $765 million. And to think this was supposed to be Marvel’s “risky” movie.

Likewise, “Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles” opened up in China this weekend and exploded massively with $26.5 million and change. This means the movie has now grossed $434 million worldwide. And domestically, the movie has almost cracked the $200 million mark. Expectation-wise, ‘Ninja Turtles’ is arguably the blockbuster success story of the summer and Paramount has to be extremely happy overall. Perhaps they saw the writing on the wall from weekend one when they announced the sequel. Scarlett Johansson’s “Lucy” is still climbing the charts overseas too. The picture has now grossed $443.5 million worldwide and is the highest grossing directorial effort of Luc Besson’s career. The man and his EuroCorp movie are very sequel happy so don’t be surprised if he reneges on his whole “no ‘Lucy’ sequels” stance.

It’s not often you hear of an obscure Jean-Luc Godard movie making box-office headway, but in the limited release field, Godard’s 3D experiment, “Goodbye To Language” topped the indie theatrical releases.

Expanding into 231 theaters from 50, “Birdman” had another solid weekend in its third week of release; $2.5 million for a solid $11k per screen average. Fox Searchlight’s Oscar hopeful has now grossed $5 million. Kino Lorber’s Godard picture scored $27,000 from 2 theaters for a good $13,500 per screen average. TWC Radius’ much larger Daniel Radcliffe picture wasn’t so lucky. It grossed $104,657 from 103 theaters making for an extremely low $1,013 per screen average. Already on VOD, Radius will probably simply go backwards on theater count from here to cut their losses. But Radius’ celebrated doc “Citizenfour” is still doing well, expanding into 37 theaters and nabbing a decent $5,600 PSA. This is a picture that could remain in the conversation for weeks, especially as it seems poised to be a major Oscar contender in the documentary field.

1. Nightcrawler —$10,909,000
2. Ouija— $10,900,000
3. Fury — $9,100,000
4. Gone Girl —$8,800,000
5. The Book of Life —$8,300,000
6. John Wick —$8,050,000
7. St. Vincent — $7,752,000
8. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $6,485,000
9. The Judge —$3,400,000
10. Dracula Untold — $2,946,000

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