With Halloween a week away, it isn’t too much of a surprise that Universal’s seance thriller “Ouija” should make contact with some decent ticket numbers at this weekend’s box office: Early estimates have it at $18 million or more, putting it ahead of the $15 million expected for the Keanu Reeves actioner “John Wick” from Lionsgate.
“Ouija,” which is produced by Jason Blum and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, is the latest in the trend of low-budget horror and thriller projects, as it cost less than $5 million to make and cast still lesser-known names like Daren Kagasoff and Olivia Cooke. It also has a PG-13 rating, making it easier to market to teens looking for scary date-night fare. The strategy of opening before next weekend’s Halloween party blitz (and therefore, predicted empty movie theaters) also ensures more of a profit.
The weekend’s movies also offer choices for adults, as David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” for Fox is expected to bring in bring in $11 million in its fourth week in release and the Weinstein Co.’s “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy is expected to earn around $9 million in its third week as it expands into wide release on more than 2,000 screens.