Weekend Box Office: 'Boo 2' Spooks Duds 'Geostorm,' 'Snowman' With $21.7M
'Geostorm' bombed domestically with $13.3 million, while 'Only the Brave' also had trouble igniting as figurative stormy weather once again strikes the box office after a record-breaking September.
Lionsgate and Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween had no trouble scaring up a No. 1 finish in its big-screen debut over the weekend with $21.7 million from 2,388 theaters.
Overall, however, figurative inclement weather was the big story at the box office, where the four other new nationwide offerings were virtually swept away. The biggest casualty is Geostorm, the long-delayed environmental disaster epic from Warner Bros. and Skydance Media that opened to $13.3 million domestically after costing a reported $120 million to make before marketing.
Not even Boo 2 emerged unscathed, opening 24 percent behind the $28.5 million launch of Boo! A Madea Halloween in October 2016.
Perry, who directed the pre-Halloween sequel, reprises his role as Madea. This time out, Madea, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis), Viv (Chandra Currelley-Young) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) take a vacation to a campground with their family members, only to encounter monsters, goblins and boogeymen. Boo 2 nabbed an A- CinemaScore and skewed heavily female (65 percent).
Geostorm, starring Gerard Butler, placed No. 2 in North America. The movie will need to do notable business overseas, where it rolled out in more markets this weekend, grossing $36.4 million from 50 territories for a foreign tally of $49.6 million and a global total of $62.9 million. It lost the foreign box-office crown to Fox's The Kingsman: Golden Circle, which debuted to $40.3 million in China for a $48.7 million weekend. (Kingsman's global cume stands at $344 million.)
So far, Geostorm is doing best in Asia, where South Korea turned in $5.4 million. It will launch Friday in China.
"The numbers outside the U.S. are much better," says Warners distribution chief Jeff Goldstein.
From the outset, Geostorm has been plagued by challenges. Marking the feature directorial debut of Independence Day producer Dean Devlin, the movie underwent substantial reshoots after poor test screenings. Warners also had to rejigger the marketing campaign in the weeks leading up to Geostorm's release because of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
In the film, the world's climate change control system — a network of satellites built to prevent natural disasters and keep the human population safe — goes haywire. A satellite engineer and former space station commander (Butler) must fix the problem before a worldwide geostorm is unleashed. Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia and Zazie Beetz also star.
Box-office observers say Geostorm was clearly hurt by dismal reviews and its B- CinemaScore. Younger moviegoers had little interest in seeing the disaster film, with only 10 percent of the audience under the age of 18 and 23 percent under 25. The timing of Geostorm couldn't be worse, considering the devastating hurricanes.
Similarly, moviegoers may have been ambivalent about going to see the firefighting drama Only the Brave, considering the recent fires in Northern California and elsewhere. The critically acclaimed film, from Sony and Black Label Media, opened to $6 million from 2,577 theaters for a fifth-place finish. Only the Brave recounts the real-life story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who battled against the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona.
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence attended a Washington, D.C., screening of the $38 million movie, which stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Taylor Kitsch and Miles Teller. A philanthropic initiative tied to the film, The Granite Mountain Fund, drives donations to support firefighting and the communities connected to and impacted by the Hotshots and their work.
Universal and Working Title's adult-skewing thriller The Snowman, featuring Michael Fassbender, also had a meltdown in its debut, grossing only $3.4 million from 1,812 theaters. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the film is based on the Jo Nesbo best-seller of the same name about a determined detective on the trail of a serial killer. Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer and J.K. Simmons also star.
The $35 million movie, coming in at No. 8, has been skewered by critics and currently shows a 10 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the worst score of Fassbender's career. It fared just as poorly with audiences, who gave the film a rare D CinemaScore. The Snowman hopes to impress overseas, where it earned another $6.6 million from 37 markets this weekend for a foreign cume of $19.2 million and $22.6 million globally.
Elsewhere, Paramount and faith-based distributor Pure Flix finally opened Same Kind of Different as Me, starring Greg Kinnear as an international arts dealer who befriends a homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) in order to salvage his marriage to his wife (Renee Zellweger). The pic took in $2.6 million from 1,362 cinemas.
New offerings at the specialty box office included A24's The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which posted a strong theater average of $28,646 as it rolled out in four theaters. Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) directed the horror-thriller, which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell.
Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions' Wonderstruck, directed by Todd Haynes and starring Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Millicent Simmonds, likewise debuted in four theaters, earning a screen average of $17,190.