After a lackluster and stagnant several weeks at the box office, two new entries actually managed to dethrone the likes of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, just to name two of the workhorses that have seemed unmovable as several new movies have opened low and dropped out of the top five after just one week.  And the race for the number one spot was nearly as nerve-wracking for the studios releasing these films as the movies themselves as ‘The Perfect Guy’ and ‘The Visit’ fluctuated back and forth, but in the end, it was Sony’s ‘The Perfect Guy’, directed by David M. Rosenthal that barely edged out M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Visit’, released by Universal.

Here are the official numbers:

  1. The Perfect Guy (Sony) – $26.7M
  2. The Visit (Universal) – $25.7M
  3. War Room (Sony) – $7.4M
  4. A Walk In The Woods (Broad Green Pictures) – $4.7M
  5. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount) – $4.1M

‘The Perfect Guy’ stars Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan and Morris Chestnut in an obsessed stalker thriller whose success mirrors that of last year’s ‘No Good Deed’ starring Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba, another thriller starring well-known African American actors, which also came out in the late summer/early fall.  The African American audience is a powerful force at the box office, but is one that isn’t frequently catered-to.  With little competition, this allowed that demographic to turn out in droves to support not only ‘The Perfect Man’ but last weekend’s winner ‘War Room’ and dynamo ‘Straight Outta Compton’, which means that this marks the fifth week straight that the number one movie has starred African American actors in the lead roles.

‘The Visit’ is being heralded as a return to form for director M. Night Shyamalan, once the “It” filmmaker in Hollywood, but in the last few years, Shyamalan has helmed a string of duds, starting with ‘Lady In The Water’ and continuing through ‘The Last Air Bender’ and high-profile Will Smith flop ‘After Earth‘.  But one good thing to come out of ‘After Earth’ is that Shyamalan took his $5M paycheck to self-finance ‘The Visit’.  Collaborating with thrill-master Jason Blum, Shyamalan went grassroots with this one, casting unknowns and shooting in his home state of Pennsylvania.

The word-of-mouth on ‘The Visit’, about two kids who visit their mysterious grandparents, is great and the film actually did better on Saturday than Sunday, a rare feat.

Interestingly, the majority of audience members for both ‘The Perfect Guy’ and ‘The Visit’ were women.

Next week should be a real doozy as several big movies are slated to drop.  First is the film that will likely be number one, ‘Everest’ based on the true story of survivors who became stranded on the famous peak.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin.  Then there is the heavily hyped ‘The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ based on the YA novel series.  The first ‘Maze Runner’ was a sleeper hit, but did well enough to warrant this sequel.  And then there’s ‘Black Mass’ with Johnny Depp as real life gangster Whitey Bulger and rising star Joel Edgerton, who previously directed and starred in this summer’s surprise hit ‘The Gift.’  Edgerton’s recognizably is increasing steadily and he could break out big within the next few years.  ‘Black Mass’ however may be a hard sell and Depp is no guarantee with audiences.  Another wild card is ‘Captive’ another true story, this one about a single mother and drug addict who is taken hostage in her own home.  It stars ‘Fantastic Four”s Kate Mara and David Oyewolo.

What are your predictions?  Check back next week for the latest numbers!

Source: Rentrak