Ear Hustle 411 and its writing staff would like to congratulate Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut because their new stalker thriller “The Perfect Guy” reached #1 its opening weekend.
Via USA Today
Stalker thriller The Perfect Guy snuck its way to a weekend box-office victory, narrowly defeating M. Night Shyamalan’s horror film The Visit.
Screen Gems’ Perfect Guy pulled in $26.7 million for the weekend, a million ahead of Universal’s The Visit, which tallied $25.7 million, according to studio estimates. The two PG-13 films were neck-and-neck right into Sunday.
“It was a creepy two-horse race right down to the wire, but Perfect Guy pulled ahead to win it by a nose,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior box-office analyst for Rentrak. He noted that the totals — and the weekend’s winner — could flip with final numbers Monday. “Anytime it’s this close, only a million dollars, there’s a possibility that positions could change.”
Perfect Guy, featuring Michael Ealy as a charming psychopath who falls for aWashington lobbyist (Sanaa Lathan), could have used a restraining order for critics,who gave the film a weak 31% positive rating on aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com. But audiences ate up the campy premise, scoring it an A- on CinemaScore.
“People just cannot get enough of these seemingly perfect relationships that go very wrong,” says Dergarabedian. “This movie was sort of marginalized as a thriller at the end of the summer, but it surprised everyone.”
The second-place finish was still a positive for Shyamalan, who has struggled since his 1999 horror classic The Sixth Sense — particularly with two recent flops, 2010’s The Last Airbender and 2013’s After Earth. But pairing with micro-budget horror producer Jason Blum helped propel The Visit into the realm of strong profitability.
“Shyamalan has just reinvented himself,” says Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. “That phone is going to be ringing at his office again from the studios. He’s returned to form here.”
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