Photo: Lionsgate

Eight films in (11 if you count cameos and an animated movie from a couple years ago), the Madea series is still slapping the competition upside its foolish, back-talking head. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, a hastily conceived sequel to last year’s seasonally (un)scary variation, topped the box office with a healthy $21.6 million debut. Most of the films in Perry’s moralistic lowbrow comedy franchise open in that general range (only one of the official eight has made less than $20 million in its first weekend), which makes going back to the Madea well a no-brainer for the writer, director, producer, star, and malapropism-deliverer. At this rate, Perry will be climbing into that dress until he’s at least the same age as his fictional alter ego.

Boo 2’s success is about the only good news to be culled from this weekend’s returns, which were about as terrible as the movies themselves. Budgeted at a super-storm-sized $120 million, Geostorm debuted in second place with a cataclysmically terrible $13.3 million. (It’s almost as if people aren’t really in the mood right now to watch a movie about fatally destructive weather.) You have to skip down to fifth place to find the next new release, the factually inspired Only The Brave, about bonding, badass firefighters. It grossed only $6 million—you have to wonder, on a similar note, about the bad timing of releasing a movie about a raging forest fire right now. Still, Only The Brave did better than Tomas Alfredson’s mercilessly maligned The Snowman, which landed in eighth place with $3.4 million (or about a tenth of its budget). We guess Mister Audience read all the clues and saved itself a couple of ludicrous hours.

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Down in 12th place, the churchgoer-courting Same Kind Of Different As Me eked out about $2.5 million on more than 1,000 screens; us godless heathens at The A.V. Club skipped this one, having just ragged on a Pure Flick, so we can’t say with total certainty whether this is a fitting fate for the company’s latest sermon. Elsewhere, a bunch of indie fare did okay business in limited release, as The Killing Of A Sacred Deer ($114K), Wonderstruck ($68K), and Jane ($54K) began their slow theatrical rollouts. There wasn’t even much good news for the returning champs that managed to fend off their brand-new competition. Last weekend’s winner and this weekend’s third-place finisher Happy Death Day couldn’t, ahem, repeat the solid holds of its 2017 Blumhouse predecessors, instead suffering a grisly 64-percent dip in patronage. And Blade Runner 2049 continued to slip gradually out of theaters, falling out of more than 800 screens and into fourth place with a $7.1 million third weekend. It’s going to be lucky to clear $100 million domestically. Meanwhile, Madea returns in next year’s sure-to-be-a-hit Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.