~Matt Reed

Not a stellar weekend at the box office. Two new releases and a rerelease managed to earn just over $13 mil. The winner, if you want to call it that, was NIGHTCRAWLER. Its $10.9 mil take is certainly better than Jake Gyllenhaal’s last film earned in its entire run (ENEMY grossed just over $1 mil in March), but it’s considerably less than PRISONERS opened with last year ($20.8 mil). With the competition heating up in the coming weeks, NIGHTCRAWLER should fade quickly.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP bombed coming in at #14 with just $2 mil. Nicole Kidman’s career has hit something of a slump of late. Her last five films including SLEEP have earned less than $9 mil combined. Her last hit was a supporting role in 2011’s Jennifer Aniston/Adam Sandler comedy JUST GO WITH IT ($103 mil). Perhaps January’s PADDINGTON will reverse those fortunes although its original release date was December 12 of this year. Taking it out of the much more competitive end of year and moving it to January often speaks to a lack of confidence, so we’ll just have to see how it pans out.

The tenth anniversary rerelease of SAW earned couldn’t even muster $700,000. Opening on 2,063 screens it earned an abysmal $315 per screen. For a recent point of comparison, this year’s 30th Anniversary rerelease of GHOSTBUSTERS opened on 784 screens and earned $1.7 mil the last weekend of August. Its ultimate $3.5 mil take certainly didn’t set any records, but it’s doubtful SAW will earn even $1 mil.

BIRDMAN, the critical hit starring Michael Keaton, has been finding success with Fox Searchlight’s slow roll out. It’s now been open three weeks, is currently on 231 screens and has earned an impressive $5 mil. This pattern of release creates anticipation as more and more theatres are added and helps to spread the positive word-of-mouth the film has been receiving.

Up Next: Two highly anticipated animated films. BIG HERO 6, co-directed by Don Hall (2011’s WINNIE THE POOH) and Chris Williams (2008’s BOLT) should be the family film to beat this holiday season.  Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, opens on IMAX in limited release Wednesday and goes wide on Friday.

Here, as always, are the weekend domestic estimates courtesy of our friends at boxofficemojo.com