When Madea Scared Jack

Projections can be scary things. Just ask Jack Reacher.

You see, many prognosticators had forecast Tom Cruise’s latest, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as the prohibitive favorite to win the weekend’s box office battle. But they underestimated the magnetic appeal of a certain moo moo-wearing movie matriarch: Madea.

Tyler Perry’s no-nonsense, wisdom-and-vulgarity spouting alter ego startled up an estimated $27.6 million with Boo! A Madea Halloween. That was more than enough to scare off Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Cruise’s paint-by-numbers sequel—which Plugged In’s Paul Asay described as being “exactly what we’d expect in a PG-13 actioner”—pulled in an estimated $23 million.

Another sequel, the Halloween horror flick Ouija: Origin of Evil, was the weekend’s other new release to land in the box office’s upper echelon, taking in $14.1 million—good enough to claim a bronze.

Holdovers thrillers The Accountant and The Girl on the Train rounded out the top five, with the former banking another $14 million and the latter riding off with $7.3 million.

Meanwhile, Keeping Up With the Joneses, the other new wide release, couldn’t keep up with much of anyone. The Zach Galifianakis comedy clocked in at No. 7 with a not very enviable $5.6 million despite its presence in more than 3,000 theaters nationwide. Deadline writer Anthony D’Alessandro says that anemic figure constitutes “one of the lowest debuts for a saturated theater count of that size.”

Meanwhile, the Christian film I’m Not Ashamed, which tells the tragic-but-inspiring story of Columbine victim Rachel Joy Scott, landed in the No. 16 slot with an estimated $900,000 from 505 theaters.

Final figures will be added when they become available later today.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

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