The weekend’s box office showdown pitted a predictable thriller against the newest effort from M. Night Shyamalan, the one-time cinematic prince of unpredictability. And who won? Well, let’s just say the results were … predictable.
The Perfect Guy stalked into the No. 1 slot, becoming the third straight movie with a predominantly black cast to earn the box office crown (Straight Outta Compton and War Room being the others). Those three films have held on for five straight weeks, incidentally. And while critics weren’t thrilled with the weekend’s top thriller (it’s at 31% at Rotten Tomatoes, and Adam Holz’s own Plugged In review was, shall we say, a few shades short of glowing), audiences liked it enough to shower it with an estimated $26.7 million.
At first glance, it looked like Shyamalan’s The Visit performed nearly as well, collecting $25.7 million for its second-place consolation prize. But given that The Visit was playing at nearly 750 more theaters than The Perfect Guy, that near-miss doesn’t look quite as impressive.
Speaking of performance-by-theater, what more can be said about War Room? The Christian movie added another 121 theaters to its tally, but it’s still playing at just 1,647 movie houses—by far the lowest theater count among the weekend’s top eight movies. It earned another $7.4 million, bringing its total take to $39.2 million. That makes it the most successful movie that the Kendrick Brothers—the guys behind such Christian stalwarts as Courageous and Fireproof—have ever made. (Courageous earned about $34.5 million back in 2011.)
A Walk in the Woods strolled into fourth place with $4.6 million, while Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation continues to defy age (it’s been out now for nearly two months) and stand firm in the Top Five, banking $4.2 million in the process. The newest M:I flick has earned $188.2 million thus far.
One other newcomer to note: 90 Minutes in Heaven finished ninth this weekend, collecting an estimated $2.2 million at fewer than 900 theaters. While those aren’t War Room numbers, obviously, it’s unusual for two Christian flicks to be in the Top 10 in any given week. Maybe it hasn’t happened … ever. It came close a couple of times in the spring of 2014, when Heaven Is for Real, God’s Not Dead and Son of God were all playing, but it doesn’t look like any two of them finished in the Top 10 at the same time.
Final figures update: 1. The Perfect Guy, $25.9 million; 2. The Visit, $25.4 million; 3. War Room, $7.8 million; 4. A Walk in the Woods, $4.7 million; 5. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, $4.1 million.