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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases were Hunted Down

October 26th, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter

Most of the new releases were not expected to do well at the box office. ... Almost no one saw this coming. We had some near-record bombs this weekend and even the best of the new releases were terrible. This left The Martian in first place; in fact, the top three spots and four of the top five were held by holdovers. The best new release, The Last Witch Hunter, barely cracked the $10 million mark. The overall box office fell 14% from last weekend to $105 million. This was also 9.5% lower than the same weekend last year. Midweek numbers were better this year than last year, so the year-over-year actually improved and 2015 now has a 5.2% lead over 2014 at $8.60 billion to $8.18 billion.

The Martian returned to first place with $15.73 million over the weekend for a total of $166.19 million after four weeks of release. The film will remain in the top five next weekend, but Spectre opens the weekend after that and the competition could kill this film's box office numbers.

Goosebumps opened in a very close second place with $15.53 million over the weekend for a total of $43.74 million after ten days of release. Halloween could boost its numbers, meaning it will match its $58 million production budget at the box office very shortly. However, the post-Halloween horror crash and The Peanuts Movie will likely result in a steep drop beginning in November. Unless the movie cost a lot to advertise or it really struggles internationally, the film will break even early in its home market run.

Bridge of Spies earned third place with $11.37 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $32.59 million. Excellent reviews and potential Awards Season success should keep it in the top ten for a few more weeks. However, the film is well below the usual Tom Hanks / Steven Spielberg collaboration.

The Last Witch Hunter opened in fourth place with $10.81 million over the weekend. This is about a third less than most people were expecting. Additionally, its reviews are just 15% positive and its genre historically has short legs. Worse still, its production budget is reportedly $80 million, perhaps more. It's too soon to tell how well it will do internationally, but it would have to be close to a $200 million hit worldwide to break even any time soon.

Hotel Transylvania 2 remained in fifth place with $8.88 million over the weekend for a total of $148.18 million after a month of release. This film is about $150,000 away from topping the first film and Halloween could keep the film in the top five next weekend. If the film hasn't broken even yet, it is very close to being in the black.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension missed the top five with $8.07 million over the weekend. This is less than half as much as the next weakest opening in the franchise. (This doesn't count the first film, which opened in limited release.) Its reviews are the worst in the franchise and it will likely disappear from theaters very quickly.

Steve Jobs follows in The Walk, as both films earned amazing reviews, but neither were able to find an audience with mainstream audiences. The film pulled in $7.11 million over the weekend for a total of $9.82 million after three weeks of release. This isn't significantly higher than the Ashton Kutcher-led biopic opened with. I don't think anyone saw this coming. The lack of box office success will likely hurt Michael Fassbender's chance to win an Oscar. After all, you can't vote for a film that you haven't seen. However, he's still the front-runner at the moment.

I'm going to talk about the next two wide releases together. Since the year 2000, less than ten films have opened in more than 2,000 theaters but earned an average of less than $1,000. This weekend, there were two such films. Rock the Kasbah only managed 13th place with $1.47 million in 2,012 theaters, while Jem and the Holograms landed in 15th place with $1.38 million in 2,413. The two films have the third worst and fourth worst per theater averages for a truly wide release during this millennium. The fifth worst average belongs to We Are Your Friends, which also came out this year. We've set the record for most $1 billion hits in a single year, but this just goes to show there have been a lot of box office losers as well.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find Crimson Peak in eighth place with $5.67 million over the weekend for a total of $22.56 million after two weeks of release. Unless it is a shockingly big hit on the home market, it will lose money. On the other hand, Woodlawn likely only cost a few million dollars to make, so its two-week total of $7.95 million is enough to cover its production budget. Over the weekend, it added $2.58 million, which was only 36% lower than its opening weekend. That's good news.

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Hotel Transylvania 2, Crimson Peak, Goosebumps, The Martian, The Walk, Bridge of Spies, The Last Witch Hunter, Rock the Kasbah, Jem and the Holograms, Steve Jobs, We Are Your Friends, Woodlawn, Paranormal Activity, Tom Hanks, Michael Fassbender, Ashton Kutcher, Steven Spielberg