Universal’s séance pic scared up $8.3 million in the U.S. on Friday and has a weekend win in its future as it heads toward a $20 million opening. “John Wick” isn’t too far behind with $15 million, while Bill Murray’s comedy “St. Vincent” climbed into the top five as it expanded nationwide.
Directed by Stiles White and starring a crop of newcomers, including Daren Kagasoff and Olivia Cooke, “Ouija” centers on a group of teens who accidentally summon dark powers when attempting to make contact with a recently deceased friend.
It’s no surprise that the “Ouija” topped the box office, considering that Halloween is only a week away and that the film carries a PG-13 rating that broadens its appeal to its target audience of teens.
“Ouija” was produced for less than $5 million by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and micro-budget master Jason Blum for Universal in tandem with Hasbro.
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Lionsgate’s “John Wick” was runner-up on Friday with $5.5 million on its way toward a $14 million debut weekend.
Reeves plays an ex-hitman drawn out of retirement when his dog, a final gift from his dying wife, is murdered during a break-in.
The film has received strong critical support, earning it an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite rave reviews, the R-rated actioner has to fight harder for an audience, especially considering the slew of adult-oriented fare currently in the market (“Fury,” “Gone Girl,” “St. Vincent,” “Birdman,” “Whiplash,” etc.).
“John Wick” marks Chad Stahelski’s directorial debut and also stars Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan and Adrianne Palicki.
Holdovers rounded out the rest of the chart.
Brad Pitt’s WWII tank drama “Fury” came in third on Friday with $4.1 million in its second weekend. The Sony pic will likely finish with $13.5 million and stands to raise its domestic cume to $46.6 million by weekend’s end.
“Gone Girl” is showing no signs of losing steam in its fourth frame, reeling in $3.5 million on Friday and eyeing $11 million for the weekend. Fox’s marital thriller will have grossed an impressive $124 million by Sunday, putting it on track to pass 2008’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as director David Fincher’s highest-grossing film domestically. “Button” hauled $127.5 million in the U.S. ($334 million worldwide) and carried a $150 million budget.
Meanwhile, the Weinstein Co.’s “St. Vincent” brought in $2.6 million on Friday as it expanded nationwide in its third week. The film, starring Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts alongside Murray, could earn almost $8 million this weekend, which would mark an astounding 1,081% spike.
The festival favorite was written and directed by Theodore Melfi, and produced by Chernin Entertainment.
The comedy rounded out the top five on Friday, but is sure to fall to sixth place behind the animated pic “The Book of Life” come weekend’s end. “Book of Life” made $2.4 million on Friday and is en route to north of $9 million this weekend.