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Universal’s pre-Halloween entry Ouija won the Friday box-office race with $8.3 million for a projected $20 million weekend, summoning up another victory for Blumhouse Pictures, Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Universal following the microbudgeted Purge franchise.
Stiles White directed Ouija, based on the classic Hasbro board game, and cost under $5 million to make. Rated PG-13, the female-fueled, teen-friendly title is playing in 2,858 locations and was produced in tandem with Hasbro. It’s not a surprise Ouija received a C CinemaScore; horror films often do.
Ouija stars an array of young television actors, including Daren Kagasoff and Bianca A. Santos, and follows a group of friends who uncover the dark powers of the Ouija board when trying to summon their recently deceased friend’s spirit. Universal’s marketing campaign included organizing a screening and seance at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Keanu Reeves‘ new R-rated action pic, John Wick, came in No. 2 and is exceeding expectations in its North American debut.
From Lionsgate, the male-skewing feature took in $5.5 million Friday from 2,589 theaters for a projected $14 million to $15 million weekend, well above the $7 million to $8 million that prerelease tracking had suggested. Reeves needs a win after his big-budget bomb 47 Ronin, which opened in December 2013.
Among critics, John Wick has already improved Reeves’ standing and currently boasts an 86 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences like it slightly less, giving it a B CinemaScore.
The R-rated action film, directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, stars Reeves as an ex-hitman who comes out of a peaceful retirement to hunt down the gangsters who have taken everything from him. Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe also star.
John Wick was followed Friday by holdovers Fury and Gone Girl, which took in $4.1 million and $3.5 million, respectively, for expected weekend earnings of $13.5 million and roughly $11 million. Fury‘s domestic total through Sunday will be an estimated $46.6 million, while Gone Girl‘s will be $124 million.
Placing No. 5 on Friday was The Weinstein Co. and Chernin Entertainment’s St. Vincent, starring Murray opposite Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts. The comedy, which is expanding nationwide after opening two weeks ago in select runs, took in $2.6 million at 2,282 locations for an expected $7 million to $8 million weekend. (The film could slip to No. 6 behind family holdover The Book of Life.)
St. Vincent nabbed an A- CinemaScore.
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