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Madea is still queen at the box office

2016-10-31 16:00
 

New York — Tom Hanks. Tom Cruise. Ben Affleck. None of them have been a match for Tyler Perry's Madea.

In a surprise victory at the weekend box office, Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween toppled another A-lister as Hanks' and Ron Howard's new Dan Brown adaption, Inferno, went up in flames. 

Perry's latest movie about his tough-talking grandmother remained No. 1 for the second straight week with an estimated $16.7m.

That was enough to scare away the third instalment of the Da Vinci Code franchise. According to studio estimates Sunday, Inferno bombed with $15m, about half of what more bullish predictions anticipated.

Sony Pictures and Inferno could take solace in stronger overseas business. In three weeks of international release, the Italy-set film has earned nearly $150m. The studio also stressed that the $75m budget for Inferno was half that of 2006's The Da Vinci Code or 2009's Angels & Demons.


"Certainly we thought of the film as for the international market. We knew that's where the sweet spot was going to be," said Rory Bruer, domestic distribution chief for Sony. "We got a few bad breaks, the biggest being this historical World Series."

But the unexpectedly poor performance of Inferno was yet another example of an anxious trend in the movie business: More of the same isn't working.

Bad run for sequels

Poorly reviewed and coming seven years after the last Robert Langdon thriller, Infernoarrived long after the Dan Brown craze. Angels & Demons opened with $46.1m in 2009. Efforts to adapt the third book in Brown's series, The Lost Symbol, were scuttled in favour of Brown's fourth instalment, Inferno.

"Inferno joins the long list of sequels that didn't measure up to their predecessors this year and in particular this summer when only three of the 14 sequels released outperformed their immediate predecessors at the box office," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.

Hanks has still notched the fall's biggest hit, Clint Eastwood's Sully. It's been an especially star-studded season, with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ($9.6m in its second week) and Ben Affleck in The Accountant ($8.5m in its third week).

But Perry's long-running character has fared better than each, at least in North America. The Halloween-themed Boo, released by Lionsgate, has made $52m in 10 days, making it Perry's biggest hit since 2009's Madea Goes to Jail.

Next week's big North American opening, Marvel's Doctor Strange, opened in 33 territories abroad where it kicked things off with $86m.

Read more on:    box office  |  movies

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