'Boo! A Madea Halloween' Scares Off Tom Cruise's 'Jack Reacher' With $27.6M at the Box Office

By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter

In a late October surprise, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween easily scared off Tom Cruise’s sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back to win the weekend box office race with a stellar $27.6 million from 2,260 North American theaters.

Never Go Back followed at No. 2 with $23 million from 3,780 theaters in a muted start for the sequel, at least domestically, where it couldn’t match last weekend’s $24.7 million debut of Ben Affleck’s The Accountant, another star-driven, male-fueled film.

From Paramount and Skydance Productions, Jack Reacher’s ultimate fate will likely rest overseas, where Cruise remains a far bigger star. The movie debuted to $31 million from 40 international markets this weekend for a total $54 million.

A Madea Halloween is a needed win for Lionsgate, and Perry’s best showing in six years as a director. The comedy-horror spool originated from a fake Madea movie featured in Chris Rock’sTop Five, and nabbed an A CinemaScore from audiences.

Perry’s film, which also stars Bella Thorne, Diamond White and Cassi Davis, follows Perry’s popular Madea character as she spends a haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.

Related: ‘Jack Reacher 2’: Why Paramount and Tom Cruise Bet on a Risky Sequel

A sequel to the 2012 film, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is an adaptation of Lee Child’s book series about an ex-military policeman fighting for justice wherever he goes. Directed by Edward Zwick, the $60 million film also stars Cobie Smulders and Aldis Hodge.

The first Jack Reacher opened to $15 million over the Dec. 21-23 weekend in 2012 and ultimately earned $218.3 million worldwide.

Never Bo Back is no doubt hindered by generally poor reviews (it earned a B+ CinemaScore from audiences). Nor does The Accountant help, since both are vying for male eyeballs

Like A Madea Halloween, Universal and Blumhouse Productions’ Ouija: Origin of Evil also decided to open ahead of Halloween weekend.

The supernatural horror prequel placed No. 3 with $14.1 million from 3,167 theaters for a projected $13.7 million weekend, a decent start for a film costing less than $9 million to make. However, it came in well behind the $19.9 million debut of the first Ouija in 2014, but hopes to be scare up strong business through Halloween since there are no other horror movies opening.

Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Hasbro, maker of the classic board game Ouija, are also partners on the film. Directed by Mike Flanagan, the film is set in 1967 in Los Angeles where a widowed mother and family fake seances as part of a scam for a living.

Returns were grim for the weekend’s fourth new nationwide offering, Fox 2000’s Keeping Up With the Joneses.

The $40 million comedy bombed with $5.6 million from 3,022 theaters, the tenth-worst debut of all time for a title going out in more than 3,000 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. Keeping Up With the Joneses certainly isn’t lacking in pedigree. Produced by Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes, the comedy was directed by Greg Mottola and stars Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot.

Related: Jack Reacher: Film Review

The big headline at the specialty box office Barry Jenkins’ awards contender Moonlight. The drama shone bright, grossing $414,740 from four theaters in Los Angeles and New York to score the best location average ($103,685) since The Revenant ($118,640).

Moonlight traces the life of a young black gay man struggling with his sexuality from his troubled childhood growing up in a tough Miami neighborhood to maturity. Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome and Mahershala Ali also star.

Michael Moore’s surprise documentary, Michael Moore in TrumpLand, opened in two IFC theaters in New York City and Encino, Calif., earning $50,200 for the three-day weekend for a location average of $25,100, just ahead of recent political docs Hillary’s America: A Secret History of the Democratic Party ($24,000) and Weiner ($16,835). However, those two films earned more overall, since they rolled out in more theaters.

TrumpLand, opening Wednesday, shows a five-day cume at $64,247. It’s exposure in theaters will be limited since it debuted simultaneously on iTunes, where it’s the No. 1 title, according to the filmmaker’s reps.