Tyler Perry beat out Tom Cruise in the battle of the sequels past weekend as Boo! A Madea Halloween creeped past Jack Reacher: Never Go Back to take the top spot at the box office.
The lastest in the long-running Madea franchise earned $27.6 at the theaters off of a very meager budget of $20 million, making a profit for distributor Lionsgate in its first weekend.
Cruise’s Jack Reacher action-packed, butt-kickng sequel earning a solid $23 million.
The reason for the Tyler Perry victory over Hollywood superstar Cruise lies in Madea’s ever expanding reach into other demographics.
Normally, Madea’s audience is 80 to 90 percent African-American, but this installment’s crowd was only 60 percent African-American, with the rest of ticket buyers made up largely of Caucasians and Hispanics.
“The film crossed over and it expanded the audience,” said David Spitz, co-president of domestic distribution at Lionsgate. “Madea is such a beloved character and the timing helped. There are not many comedies in the marketplace right now and Halloween is right around the corner.”
Ouija: Origin of Evil, the follow-up to 2014’s low-budget horror hit Ouija, picked up $14.1 million, a respectable return given its $9 million budget.
Last weekend’s champ, Warner Bros.’ The Accountant, came in fourth, holding well to pick up $14 million. That pushes the Ben Affleck thriller’s domestic total to $47.9 million., according to Fortune magazine.
DreamWorks Pictures’ The Girl on the Train rounded out the top five, earning $7.3 million.