Tyler Perry has shown once again that he is a box office draw.
Perry’s famous Madea character went up against Tom Cruise over the weekend at the multiplex and edged out the superstar actor to win the weekend.
“Boo! A Madea Halloween” took in an estimated $27.6 million over the weekend; Cruise’s “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” took in around $23 million, according to The Wrap.
Both titles performed better than expectations and were stronger than previous releases in their franchises.
“Never Go Back,” a sequel to the 2012 movie “Jack Reacher” based on the Lee Child novels, was a better earner than the original, “Jack Reacher” had a $15.2 million opening. “Boo!,” the first Madea movie since 2013’s “A Madea Christmas,” proved audiences still love the character Perry created in the early 2000s as it also had a bigger opening than the $16 million “Madea Christmas” had.
Though “Never Go Back” was looking to run away with the weekend as it took in $1.3 million in its Thursday preview screenings versus the $855,000 “Boo!” had, things drastically changed by Saturday night as “Boo!” ticket sales rose 20% from Friday while “Never Go Back” dropped 4%.
What’s even more impressive by “Boo!” is that the movie, released by Lionsgate, was on 1,520 screens less than “Never Go Back.”
But Paramount, which releases “Never Go Back,” shouldn’t be too disappointed. In a year where the studio has dealt with many flat releases, the Cruise release is its third best opening weekend this year (behind “Star Trek Beyond, $59.2 million, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” $35.3 million).
The Madea franchise, which has earned close to $400 million total over the six films released before “Boo!” (budgets for recent titles hover around $20 million), have been profitable for Lionsgate and proves that Perry is still the king of the box office when it comes to attracting the urban market to the movies.
On the specialty side, A24’s Oscar-contender “Moonlight” came on the scene in a big way with a huge $100,000-plus per-screen average in four theaters its opening weekend. The movie is primed for some big figures as it goes wider.