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Weekend Estimates: Martian, Jobs Red Hot; Pan Fried

October 11th, 2015

The Martian

As expected, The Martian will easily win a second straight weekend at the box office, with Fox predicting the film will fall just 32% from its opening to $37 million, for a running total of $108.7 million. That keeps it tracking just a little behind Gravity, which fell 23% in its second weekend, and ahead of Interstellar (down 40%, second time around) and Prometheus (59% down). Comparing all four movies, The Martian looks set to move easily past $200 million, and perhaps settle around $225 million, unless it tops that number thanks to a re-release around Oscar time.

The strong performance of The Martian stands in sharp contrast to the debut of Pan, which has had a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences, and is headed to an opening weekend around $15.53 million, per Warner Bros.. Spending $150 million to make the film is looking like a poor decision in retrospect, but in the studio’s defense, family franchises are enormously lucrative when they hit, and basing a film on a beloved group of characters (although not adhering entirely to the original story) makes a certain amount of sense. There’s perhaps a slim chance that the film could have decent legs, given its family-friendly nature, but its profile looks dangerously like that of Zathura, which opened with $13.4 million back in 2005, and was out of theaters five weeks later with a total of $28 million. For Pan to make only $30 million domestically would be catastrophic, almost regardless of what it does overseas.

Opening in limited release this week, Steve Jobs is getting a huge start, with Universal projecting a weekend of $520,942 from just four locations. That compares to American Sniper’s $633,456 from four venues back in December, Moonrise Kingdom’s $522,996 from four opening theaters, and The Grand Budapest Hotel’s $811,166, also from four locations in its opening salvo. In short, Jobs is in rare company. As any data analyst will tell you, rare events make for difficult predictions, and this is certainly one of those cases. Looking at our comps chart for Steve Jobs, we can see the film maxing out anywhere between $45 million (Moonrise Kingdom’s final total) and $350 million (American Sniper’s monumental gross). The best markers are probably The Social Network, which picked up $97 million ($102 million, adjusted for inflation), and Slumdog Millionaire, which topped out at $141 million ($159 million, inflation adjusted), with the last $30 million or so largely helped by its Oscar nomination and win. Steve Jobs should top $100 million, it seems, but it’s only 0.5% of the way there so far, so it’s early to place bets on that outcome.

One more noteworthy new release this weekend is the Chinese film Goodbye Mr. Loser, which is projected to earn $350,000 from 22 theaters, for a gangbusters near-$16,000 average.

- Weekend estimates
- The Martian comps
- Pan comps
- Steve Jobs comps

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Pan, The Martian, Steve Jobs, Xia Luo Te Fan Nao