Ouija opened last night at 8 PM in 2,061 houses and scared in $911K to start its weekend off in what is expected to be a spirited opening for the micro-budgeted Blumhouse horror film. It is expected to best the other newcomer, the Lionsgate actioner John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, which pulled $870K in over 2000 locales. A couple of comps to look at for this violent, R-rated film is last year’s Escape Plan (also R-rated and also opened in October), which ended up pulling in $258K for a $9M opening, and then the PG-13 rated Red 2 which bowed this summer to $825K for an $18M opening weekend. Others are looking at November Man which opened in August on a Wednesday grossing $862K and opened to $7.9M, but that had a very different demographic makeup — it skewed much, much older with both males and females.
Comps for Ouija are Blumhouse’s own Insidious and Mama (both rated PG-13 as is Ouija) and Sinister (rated R). Insidious which opened in April 2011 had a late-night opening of $145K before opening to $13.2M, while Mama bowed in January of last year with $450,358 for an opening weekend of $28M. The closest in terms of gross is Sinister with $930K and it also bowed a couple of weeks before Halloween and ended up making $18M its opening weekend, albeit it had an older audience.
Universal, who is distributing the Ouija spookfest, is also charging across the social media universe of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter over John Wick, which is not surprising give the demo. Its You Tube views are a haunting 20 million with another 4 million views on Facebook and yet another 1.1 million Facebook page likes.
Interestingly, the Matrix-crazed game boys and movie channels are reposting John Wick videos at a super high ratio of 21 to 1, although RelishMix notes that views are lower than Ouija which is getting some action with some viral videos from Think Modo.
Another cool metric from RelishMix is that Bill Murray’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s classic “Shelter From The Storm” just hit 1 million views to help spread the word about St. Vincent‘s weekend expansion for The Weinstein Co. This heart-tugging pic from director Ted Melfi is rolling out wide this weekend into 2,282 runs after platforming to build word-of-mouth. I expect a high CinemaScore from this well-made film.
The video, which has Murray’s character sitting in a lawn chair donning headphones and singing, is oddly mesmerizing and kept audiences in their seats throughout the ending credits. Check it out here.