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article image'Ouija' to scare up the box office

By Tim O'Brien     Oct 23, 2014 in Entertainment
It doesn't take a Ouija board to see the what the box office has in store this weekend. Timing is everything for the movie called "Ouija."
Halloween is brewing and the witching hour is near so "Ouija" is primed for a win. That doesn't mean last week's solid war winner "Fury" will bow out easily. But that film had its win with the intended audience.
Analysts, including The Wrap, look at around $20 million for "Ouija." By no means will that be a huge win by the numbers, but a win is a win. "It also really means that the win for "Fury" had last weekend was not all that big, but it was for a war movie.
Horror films usually enjoy a nice opening but even that has fallen by the wayside this year. Nevertheless, a horror film opening in October can pull off a win, because of timing. With "Ouija" perhaps it would do better if released when the popularity of the board game was evident. One wonders if the young people even care about this game.
Weekend
1. "Ouija" - 2,700 theaters
2. "John Wick" - 2,450 theaters
3. "23 Blast" - 600 theaters
4. "Citizenfour" - 5 theaters
5. "Laggies" - Limited
6. "White Bird in a Blizzard" - Limited
"John Wick" stars Keanu Reeves, who plays a hit man. Not in as many theaters, so that means less box office, so the numbers dictate that it will not be gunning for the top spot. Also, having to deal with the holdovers, which do include "Fury" and "Book of Life," it could get crowded getting into those top spots. Even "Gone Girl" was holding steady.
With "Ouija" taking hold of the teen audience and "Fury" and "Gone Girl" the older crowd, the family will need to seek out holdovers, which they may opt out of this weekend. "Book of Life" may stay around, but other family fare may drop off more this time around. All eyes for that audience will await "Big Hero 6."
Universal's "Ouija" lists one producer as Michael Bay and that usually means big budgets such "Transformers 4," but this film will make money. It is not a big budget Bay film.
"23 Blast" tells the tale of Travis Freeman, a stricken young boy. But, it is about football, and sports movie overall, do not always fare well. Mark Hapka stars as Freeman, an inspiring tale of hope, but that hope will not take it to top of the box office, as it is in only 600 theaters.
Now is the time of the year to make sure some films get released in time for award season and also become Oscar eligible. That means many films get released and will never play wide, but must qualify. Oscar deadlines are here and even the first awards will be handed out Nov. 14 with the Hollywood Film Awards.
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