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Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher beaten to US top spot by Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween

Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Cruise’s second outing as Jack Reacher has been beaten to the top of the US box office by Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween.

The latest in Perry’s Madea outings took $27.6 million in its first weekend, comfortably beating Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which came second with $23 million.

Perry’s film, which also stars Bella Thorne and Cassi Davis, follows Perry’s 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.

Hailing the win, and noting how well it played to a diverse audience, Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz said: “It’s unique and different for a Halloween film. And there hasn’t been a Madea film since December 2013, so I think audiences were ready.”

If Tyler Perry’s franchise looks set to continue for some time to come, it remains to be seen whether Jack Reacher’s opening weekend can maintain the franchise for future films.

Based on another of Lee Child’s popular novels, the second film adaptation finds Cruise’s main character accused of a 16-year-old murder and forced on the run to clear his name and expose a conspiracy.

The opening figure of $23 million was a marked improvement on the original, which took $15 million in December 2012. Globally, it performed even better, taking a total of $54 million, up from $42 million for the first.

Megan Colligan, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, was optimistic for the franchise’s prospects: “In this marketplace sequels are incredibly difficult, yet we opened 28% more than the first Jack Reacher on a global basis.

“This movie was made for virtually the same price as the first, and we’ve already grossed $54 million. I know it’s Tom Cruise, and I know it’s action, but these are character-based action movies made for a price. It isn’t a $150 million tentpole.”

Elsewhere at the US box office, low-budget horror movie Ouija: Origin of Evil took $14.1 million to place third – well behind the $19.9 million debut of the first Ouija in 2014. It did, however, open a whole weekend ahead of Halloween and will be hoping to pick up more viewers next weekend.

Ben Affleck’s The Accountant fell from first to fourth in its second weekend but declined a slim 43%, to $14 million, for a 10-day US total of $47.9 million.

While Emily Blunt’s The Girl On The Train rounded out the top five with $7.3 million for a total US haul so far of $60 million.

Of the weekend’s other notable new releases, Fox comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses, starring Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, bombed with $5.6 million.

The film, which cost $40 million to produce, suffered the tenth worst debut of all time for a title going out in more than 3,000 cinemas.

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