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Tyler Perry’s Madea spooks Tom Hanks’ Inferno in box office upset

Tom Hanks. Tom Cruise. Ben Affleck. None of them have been a match for Tyler Perry’s Madea.

In a surprise victory at the weekend box office, Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween toppled another A-lister as Hanks’ and Ron Howard’s new Dan Brown adaptation, Inferno, went up in flames.

Perry’s latest movie about his tough-talking grandmother remained number one for the second straight week with an estimated $ 16.7 million US.

Inferno bombs

That was enough to scare away the third installment of the Da Vinci Code franchise. According to studio estimates Sunday, Inferno bombed with $ 15 million, about half of what more bullish predictions anticipated.

Film Review Inferno

Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones appear in a scene from Inferno, which had a disappointing opening at the box office this weekend. (Jonathan Prime/Sony Pictures/The Associated Press)

Sony Pictures and Inferno could take solace in stronger overseas business. In three weeks of international release, the Italy-set film has earned nearly $ 150 million.

The studio also stressed that the $ 75 million budget for Inferno was half that of 2006’s The Da Vinci Code or 2009’s Angels & Demons.

“Certainly we thought of the film as for the international market. We knew that’s where the sweet spot was going to be,” said Rory Bruer, domestic distribution chief for Sony.

“We got a few bad breaks, the biggest being this historical World Series.” – Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures

“We got a few bad breaks, the biggest being this historical World Series.”

Friday night’s Game Three between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians drew 19.4 million viewers, a 12-year-best, and Saturday night’s Game Four was watched by 15.1 million.

But the unexpectedly poor performance of Inferno was yet another example of an anxious trend in the movie business: More of the same isn’t working.

Dan Brown craze over

Poorly reviewed and coming seven years after the last Robert Langdon thriller, Inferno arrived long after the Dan Brown craze.

Angels & Demons opened with $ 46.1 million in 2009. Efforts to adapt the third book in Brown’s series, The Lost Symbol, were scuttled in favour of Brown’s fourth installment, Inferno

Inferno joins the long list of sequels that didn’t measure up to their predecessors this year and in particular this summer when only three of the 14 sequels released outperformed their immediate predecessors at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore.

Hanks has still notched the fall’s biggest hit, Clint Eastwood’s Sully. It’s been an especially star-studded season, with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ($ 9.6 million in its second week) and Ben Affleck in The Accountant ($ 8.5 million in its third week).

Film Box Office

Tom Cruise appears in a scene from Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. (Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures/The Associated Press)

Perry hits mark

But Perry’s long-running character has fared better than each, at least in North America.

The Halloween-themed Boo, released by Lionsgate, has made $ 52 million in 10 days, making it Perry’s biggest hit since 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail.

Next week’s big North American opening, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, opened in 33 territories abroad where it kicked things off with $ 86 million.

CBC | Arts News

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