Tyler Perry beats Tom Cruise at US box office

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Tyler Perry and Tom CruiseImage source, AP
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Perry's Halloween parody took over $4.6m (£3.8m) more than Cruise's Jack Reacher film

Tyler Perry's new comedy has beaten Tom Cruise's latest Jack Reacher movie to the top of the US box office.

Boo! A Madea Halloween, which Perry directed, wrote, co-produced and stars in, took $27.6m (£22.6m) on its opening weekend.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the second film in the franchise, debuted at number two with $23m (£18.8m).

Last week's number one, The Accountant, dropped to number four after taking a further $14m (£11.4m).

The crime drama stars Anna Kendrick and Ben Affleck and tells the story of a man who uses his accountancy office as a front for his work for criminal organisations.

Supernatural horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil, a prequel to 2014 film Ouija, took $14.1m (£11.5m) to debut in third place.

The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt, rounded off the top five, taking $7.3m (£6m) on its third weekend of release.

Further down the top 10, Keeping Up With the Joneses launched with a relatively disappointing $5.6m (£4.6m), landing at number seven.

Image source, AP
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Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm star in Keeping Up With the Joneses

The comedy, which stars Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm, received poor review from critics.

Coming-of-age drama Moonlight took $415,000 on its first weekend of release despite showing in only four cinemas - an strong result for a film with no big stars and a fairly unknown director, Barry Jenkins.

ComScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said the film, which will expand to further theatres in the coming weeks, "is going to be on everyone's Oscar radar now".

Image source, A24 Films/AP
Image caption,
Moonlight: 'Not only a breakout arthouse hit, but also a serious Oscar contender'

Analysis by BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba

Perhaps the most significant US box office figure from the weekend was for a film which didn't even make the top 10.

Moonlight, the story of a gay African American man dealing with his sexuality, may have only taken $414,740, but that was in just four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles, meaning in each it took an average of $103,685 - the highest per-screen average of any release in 2016.

The independent film has already received a rapturous reception at festivals, as well as being highly praised by many reviewers. Its strong box office performance in the few cinemas it played in means it could also add commercial success to critical success.

For the past two years, no non-white performers have been nominated in the Academy's acting categories, leading to the #OscarsSoWhite diversity row. Moonlight, with its black cast, now looks like one of the films that will break that trend.

Nominations are probable for Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris for best supporting actor and actress. It's also more than possible that the film's director Barry Jenkins could be recognised in the best director and best original screenplay categories. The film could well also get a best picture nomination.

It will expand to other cities in the next few weeks, and if its momentum continues it looks set to be not only a breakout arthouse hit, but also a serious Oscar contender.

Perry's Halloween film, a parody of conventional horror films, is the follow-up to Madea Goes to Jail and Madea's Family Reunion.

Dergarabedian said: "The Madea character has provided box office dividends for years. It's a perfect combination, Madea and Halloween right before Halloween."

Cruise's latest Jack Reacher film may have missed the top spot, but it had a more successful opening weekend than the first film in the franchise, which opened in 2012 with $15.2m (£12.4m).

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