With Halloween just a week away, it's normal for scary movies to start grabbing attention at the US box office. But there was an unexpected champ this weekend as Tyler Perry's latest, Boo! A Madea Halloween took on Tom Cruise with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and won soundly, earning $27.6 million according to studio estimates.
The Madea character – played by Perry himself and adapted from the theatrical version into a series of successful movies – has never been a phenomenon in the UK; indeed the films don't even tend to get released here. But he's built quite the following for the larger-than-life, religious character and there's no arguing with her popularity this time. The latest Jack Reacher entry, meanwhile, earned $23 million, which is stronger than the first movie. Cruise's original outing as the tough nut character opened to $15.2 million in the US, so Paramount and its partners will be hoping for a solid return on the investment.
Third place was horror sequel Ouija: Origin Of Evil, which couldn't compete with the blend of scares and laughs from Perry's film. Still, with a low $9 million budget, a $14.06 million start isn't too bad, even if it less than the original Ouija launched to in 2014. At fourth was The Accountant, as the action thriller was pushed down by the newcomers and earned $14.02 million, meaning it could end up trading slots with the horror offering when the finally tally comes in. And at fifth we find The Girl On The Train, adding $7.2 million for a $58.9 million US total so far.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children dropped a couple of places to sixth, taking in $6 million, while there was dire news for new comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses. The suburban spy comedy has been pronounced flopped on arrival, with $5.6 million and a seventh-place start.