The Bottom Line: October 21st, 2016: Reach For The Sky

Cobie Smulders Tom Cruise Jack Reacher Never Go Back

Quick Takes

It’s a throwback weekend, as old-fashioned star power goes head-to-head with old-school scares. In this week’s edition of The Bottom Line, we figure out whether Jack Reacher: Never Go BackOuija: Origin of EvilKeeping Up With the Joneses, or Boo! A Madea Halloween will become the new box office champion.

Box Office Top Five

More people were excited to see Ben Affleck crunching numbers than I expected, which means The Accountant opened at number one with $24.8 million. The Girl on the Train dropped to second place with $12.3 million. Kevin Hart’s new standup special Kevin Hart: What Now? opened at number three, earning $11.8 million. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Deepwater Horizon spent their third weekend in fourth and fifth place, earning $9 million and $6.5 million, respectively.

Here is a look at a few films that are opening on September 30th.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (PG-13) 118 mins.

The original Jack Reacher was a great, no-frills action film anchored by one of our best action stars, Tom Cruise. A sequel should be a no-brainer, and yet, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is getting much worse reviews than its predecessor. I’ll still be seeing it – at the very least, it’ll satisfy my “Tom Cruise punching dudes” fix for a while – but will audiences? The first wasn’t a smash, but it had legs and it has gained new fans since it was released. This is my pick for number one film of the weekend, because America loves to watch Tom Cruise run.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (PG-13) 99 mins.

Now here’s a shocker – the prequel to 2014’s Ouija, the terrible movie based on the Hasbro board game, is getting very good reviews. That’s what happens when you bring on director Mike Flanagan (director of, among other things, Oculus and Hush). My excitement has certainly grown for this one. Ouija, despite being very bad, did very well at the time. But are audiences now burned of the Ouija brand? That could hurt this sequel, but at the same time, it’s the only horror movie opening in the month of Halloween. I predict it opens at number two, but it might gain some word of mouth that keeps it up there for a while.

Keeping Up With the Joneses (PG-13) 101 mins.

A great cast and a solid premise didn’t stop Keeping Up With the Joneses from getting panned by critics. I don’t think it’ll do great business, either. There’s too much competition among films opening this weekend, and the film looks very similar to Masterminds, another Zach Galifianakis film which opened just last month. I’m going to predict this opens at number four this weekend.

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween (PG-13) 103 mins.

Look, if you like Madea, more power to you. I’ve never seen one, so I can’t judge one way or the other. I can tell you that these movies do solid box office every time (which is, of course, why they keep making them). The last one opened at number three, and I can see this one doing the same thing.

The Bottom Line

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back will ride Tom Cruise’s star power to first place, even though Ouija: Origin of Evil may be the superior film. We’ll see Ouija at number two, and Boo! A Madea Halloween will open at number three. Keeping Up With the Joneses will open at four, while The Accountant will drop down to fifth place.

Movies To Look Forward To:

Inferno (October 28th)

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About the author

Michael Smith

Mike Smith is an avid filmgoer from New York who loves to hear his own voice - luckily his work as a podcaster on FilmBook allows him to do just that. Mike graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with a degree in communications, and is ready to dole out critical analysis of all your pop culture fixations. Mike is the host of FilmBookCast and can frequently be seen at his local movie theater, patiently explaining to his friends that Superman Returns is a misunderstood masterpiece.

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