‘The Perfect Guy’ edges out Shyamalan’s ‘The Visit’ at the box office

Two thrillers woke up a sleepy box office over the weekend as the “The Perfect Guy” pulled in an estimated $26.7 million in the U.S. and Canada to edge out M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit.”

“The Perfect Guy” ticket sales exceeded expectations and were particularly strong given the film played in just 2,221 locations, about 28% fewer theaters than Universal’s “The Visit.” Made for just $12 million and released by Sony’s Screen Gems division, “The Perfect Guy” centers on a woman recovering from a painful breakup and the complications that ensue when she falls for the wrong man.

Despite earning positive reviews from just 31% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the film won an A-minus from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

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By contrast, “The Visit” earned $25.7 million on largely positive reviews from critics but only a B-minus audience grade on CinemaScore.

“The Visit” marks “The Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan’s return to theaters following the lackluster 2013 film “After Earth.” As it stands, “The Visit” is the director’s best reviewed film since “Signs” in 2002, and opening weekend ticket sales were more than five times the film’s production budget.

The strong performance of both films follows a sluggish Labor Day weekend, when the lack of new major releases meant the box office was led by “The War Room” in its second weekend and “Straight Outta Compton” in its fourth. Looking at the entire year through Sunday, the box office is up 5.9% compared with 2014, according to film tracking firm Rentrak.

“The War Room,” which fell to third place, added 121 locations and earned $7.4 million more, bringing its domestic box office to about $39.2 million, well over its reported $3.5 million production budget.

Broad Green Pictures’ comedy adventure “A Walk in the Woods,” starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, fell to fourth in its second week of release, earning $4.7 million. That pushes its cumulative gross to almost $20 million.

Paramount Pictures’ “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” rounded out the top five in its seventh week of release, adding $4.2 million and raising its domestic total to $188.2 million.

Samuel Goldwyn Films’ “90 Minutes in Heaven” debuted at No. 9, continuing the strong showing of faith-based films. It earned an estimated $2.1 million at just 838 locations. The film stars Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth and is an adaptation of Don Piper’s book about his near-death experience.

In more limited release, “Sleeping With Other People” opened with the week’s highest per-screen ticket sales. The film, starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, made $20,625 per screen at five locations.


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