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Fittingly, Universal’s holdover horror pic Ouija topped the Halloween box office chart after narrowly beating Jake Gyllenhaal‘s new indie crime-thriller Nightcrawler Friday with $3.5 million from 2,899 North American theaters.
Most believe Nightcrawler, earning an estimated $3.2 million Friday from 2,766 locations, will pull ahead and win the weekend with an $11 million to $12 million debut.
As expected, moviegoing plummeted Friday by as much as 20 percent over the previous week because of the spooky holiday (it’s the first time in six years that Halloween has fallen on a Friday). Hollywood studios considered the weekend such a wash that they didn’t release one new film, leaving the marquee free for indie offerings — and the rerelease of Saw.
Produced and financed by Bold Films, the critically acclaimed Nightcrawler marks the feature directorial debut of Dan Gilroy and stars Gyllenhaal as a hungry freelance journalist who looks to further his career by exposing L.A.’s underground crime scene. Open Road Films is handling the $8.5 million film domestically.
Nightcrawler also stars Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton.
Halloween or no Halloween, Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth‘s British sci-fi thriller Before I Go to Sleep is DOA. The movie may only take in $2.2 million for the weekend from 1,935 runs to come in No. 13, making it the worst wide opening of Kidman’s career after Birth ($2.4 million), not accounting for inflation.
Scott Free, Millennium and StudioCanal partnered on Before I Go to Sleep, directed by Rowan Joffe and distributed by Clarius Entertainment in the U.S. Based on the book by S. J. Watson, the film stars Kidman as a woman who wakes up every day with no memory of her life since she was in her early 20s.
The rerelease of Saw by Lionsgate may only gross $1 million, putting it at No. 17 for the weekend.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins