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Weekend Estimates: Martian Avoids the Wreckage

October 25th, 2015

The Martian

Dismal is about the politest word that can be applied to the box office performance of new releases this weekend. None of the five films new in wide release managed to make the top three on the chart, and two of them didn’t even crack the top ten. That leaves The Martian and Goosebumps to battle it out for first place, and a fourth-week decline of just 25% for The Martian looks virtually certain to give it the win. Fox projects it will make $15.9 million for a total by the end of the weekend of $166 million or so. Its performance to date falls neatly between that of Interstellar and Gravity, which puts the sci-fi adventure on course for a final domestic box office of $230 million (see full comps here).

Goosebumps, meanwhile, is having a pretty good run for films of its ilk, running ahead of films like Pan, Zathura, and Hugo at this stage. It is projected to fall 34% this weekend to $15.5 million, which is an excellent second weekend decline in this day and age, and it will be further boosted by Halloween coming up this week. While by no means a huge hit, it should get at least close to $100 million, and has a rosy future on TV and streaming platforms for years to come.

Bridge of Spies is having arguably the best weekend for any film in terms of staying power. It will be down just 26% in its second weekend, which in part reflects the older demographic it appeals to. With $100 million looking a distant prospect though (it will have $32.6 million as of Monday morning), it does continue a modest run for Steven Spielberg as a director, at least by his sky-high standards.

That brings us to the new wide releases, which are led by The Last Witch Hunter, an $80 million Vin Diesel vehicle that will barely top $10 million this weekend—Lionsgate is predicting $10.8 million. About the best that can be said about it is that Witcher beat the other openers on almost every metric, but that’s damning with faint praise indeed.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is projected to earn $8.2 million this weekend from 1,656 theaters. Its theater average of $4,952 actually isn’t bad (it’s the best in the top 20, in fact), but a dispute with theater owners over its relatively early release on VoD limited the number of theaters that played it, and that has clearly dragged down its average. Although the headlines will probably claim a victory for the theater owners in this battle, it’s a pyrrhic victory, given that the theaters would have made a lot more by playing this film instead of, well, the ones we’re about to talk about, all of which got more screens.

In seventh place on the chart is Steve Jobs, which expanded this weekend after a spectacular run in limited release. Surprisingly, it is falling very flat in wide release with $7.3 million projected for the weekend from 2,493 venues. At this point, it’s tracking most closely to The Grand Budapest Hotel, which had $13 million at this point in its run (Jobs has $10 million), but that movie was only playing in 304 theaters at this point and continued a slow rollout to peak at 1,467 three weeks later. Universal perhaps went too far too fast with this one. (Click here for full comp chart.)

This is actually turning out to be a rare bad weekend for Universal, with Jem and the Holograms recording a disastrous $1.3 million opening from 2,413 venues for a theater average of $545. That’s the third-worst opening ever for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters, behind independent releases The Oogieloves and Delgo. Remarkably, the fourth-worst opening ever for a movie debuting in over 2,000 theaters will be claimed by Rock the Kasbah, with $1.5 million projected from 2,012 locations, for an average of $750. There’s really no way back for either of these films, and little chance for redemption in the home market (although Kasbah could conceivably do reasonable business on VoD).

In limited release, two new films will top $10,000 per theater, led by awards hopeful Suffragette with $77,000 in four venues. Heart of a Dog is reportedly on its way to $14,750 in a single theater, and returning film Room joins the $10,000 club with $254,357 projected for its second weekend in 23 theaters.

- Weekend estimates
- The Martian comps
- Goosebumps comps
- Bridge of Spies comps
- Steve Jobs comps
- The Last Witch Hunter comps
- Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension comps
- Rock the Kasbah comps
- Jem and the Holograms comps

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Pan, Goosebumps, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, The Last Witch Hunter, Rock the Kasbah, Jem and the Holograms, Steve Jobs, Room, Suffragette, Heart of a Dog, Vin Diesel, Steven Spielberg