spells out win on U.S., Canada movie charts
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[October 27, 2014]
By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK
(Reuters) - "Ouija", a horror film inspired by the board
said to contact the dead, haunted the top of movie
charts in the United States and Canada, collecting $20
million in weekend ticket sales and knocking Brad Pitt's
"Fury" out of first place.
Another new entry, action thriller "John Wick" starring Keanu
Reeves as a hit man out for revenge, debuted in second, taking
in $14.2 million from Friday through Sunday, according to
estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.
"Fury," a World War Two drama about a U.S. Army tank crew,
earned $13 million to claim the No. 3 spot, while Ben Affleck's
mystery thriller "Gone Girl" grossed $11.1 million, finishing
The low-budget "Ouija" got pre-Halloween crowds in the mood for
a good scare. The movie tells the story of a group of young
girls who reach out to the spirit world in search of answers
about their friend's mysterious death.
"Ouija," which came in just shy of predictions from Box Office
Mojo that it would make $22 million in ticket sales, nonetheless
scored another success for the low-budget horror genre. Jason
Blum, the filmmaker behind "The Purge" and "Paranormal Activity"
franchises, was a co-producer on "Ouija" with Comcast Corp's
"The results speak for themselves," said Nikki Rocco, president
for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures of the $20
million haul for "this micro-budgeted film", which she said had
cost about $5 million to make.
"And it just shows that PG-13-rated horror films can work really
well," she added, noting that 68 percent of the audience was
under the age of 21, in a market crowded with R-rated box office
In "John Wick," which exceeded industry expectations for its
opening, Reeves portrays a grieving husband and retired assassin
who reverts to killing to avenge wrongs done to him by Russian
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The performance by Reeves, best known for "The Matrix" franchise
which ended in 2003, won high praise from critics with 86 percent of
reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website recommending the film, which
was distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
Rounding out the top five, animated movie "The Book of Life" took in
$9.8 million. The film, a co-production of Reel FX Creative Studios
and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's Twentieth Century Fox studios,
draws on Mexican art and wooden puppets to tell a love story rooted
in the Day of the Dead festivities.
Fox also released "Gone Girl", the movie based on the best-selling
novel by Gillian Flynn about a man suspected of causing his wife's
disappearance. "Fury" was distributed by Sony Corp's movie studio.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; Editing by Tom
Heneghan and David Stamp)
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