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Weekend Box Office: The Martian Back on Top as New Releases Crash and Burn

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By Chris Kavan - 10/25/15 at 09:33 PM CT

Man alive, was it ever a disappointing weekend at the box office. No new release could muster up a better result than 4th place and two of the new releases are now among the worst wide-release openings of all time. Because of the disastrous results, the overall box office was down 7.4% compared to the same weekend last year. You would think a potential Oscar candidate and some seasonal horror offerings would bring in an audience, but, then, you would be wrong. Not ghosts, not comedy, not even Steve Jobs - nothing could save the box office this weekend.


After one week in second place, The Martian climbed back to the top of the box office. Matt Damon and Ridley Scott have to be thrilled (not much else at the box office to get excited about). The Martian brought in another $15.9 million, giving the film a new total of $166.3 million. That means it is only $11.4 million shy of becoming Scott's highest-grossing film - a result that is a given at this point. The film on dipped a little over 25%. It will also soon pass Gone Girl ($167.7 million) to become the second-largest October film on record (sadly Gravity at $247 million remains out of reach). Now the film looks to be in pretty solid territory until November 6, when Spectre hits theaters. $200 million pretty much seems like a lock at this point.


Switching places with The Martian, Goosebumps dropped a tick to second place with $15.5 million. That gives the family-friendly horror film a new total of $43.7 million. Goosebumps also had a decent hold, dropping just 34.4% in its second weekend. This one will cross $50 million by next weekend and is looking at a solid run until Halloween blows over and then it will likely fall pretty fast but Goosebumps is still a another great result for Sony - and should top out at around $70 million. It will certainly earn back its $58 million budget - not a thing a lot of movies released recently can say.


Settling in nicely in the third-place position is the Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg collaboration, Bridge of Spies. The film dropped 26.1% in its second weekend - a good hold for sure, but it is sitting at just $32.58 million - but while it may be in awards contention, it is still running behind The Terminal by $9 million through the same point. While the result may not be exactly what the studio was hoping for, it also cost just $40 million, meaning this one is going to be a money-maker in the long run and maybe even an awards winner (or, at least, a nominee). Expect this one to stick around for a least a few more weeks.


The Last Witch Hunter has the distinction of being the only new film to break into the top five. But hold off all that applause, as The Last Witch Hunter also only managed to bring in $10.82 million. The movie cost a reported $75 million (not including marketing and the like). It made another $13.4 million overseas, but it still has quite a ride ahead of it before it can be considered profitable. The film earned a "B-" Cinemascore, so a second week drop in the 50% range is to be expected. Guess Vin Diesel's LARPing adventure isn't going to be anywhere near as profitable as the Fast and Furious films. My guess is The Last Witch Hunter lasts a week or two at the most and might top out at $25 million.


Still holding out in the top fave was Adam Sandler and crews' animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2. Another light drop (28.8%) left the movie with $9 million in its fifth weekend out and a new total of $148.2 million. It is fast approached the $150 million mark - we'll see how it holds out, but it looks like clear sailing until The Peanuts Movie drops November 7th.

Outside the top five: A massacre of epic proportions as the week's other new wide release films all did so poorly. Let's start with the film I was expecting to break out big - Steve Jobs has a great pedigree attached to it, but could only manage $7.2 million (7th place - up from 11th). That total was just above the Ashton Kutcher film Jobs (which opened to $6.7 million), even though the current film has far better reviews and names to go along with it. What does that mean? That either all the limited release press took the wind out of the sails or that people just don't care that much about Steve Jobs. Whatever the reason, a total in the $30 million range is likely (and awards are still likely to come) but the buzzy picture isn't going to do near as well as I would have though.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension opened in far fewer theater than is predecessors due to its daring VOD plan - a movie that likely contributed to its lackluster $8.2 million opening (6th place). That is by far the lowest opening for any film in the franchise and could likely be the death knell for the once-popular series. Granted, it's budget is in the mid-teens (still the most expensive movie in the series to date), so earning back that amount won't be too hard, but maybe that VOD move was a bad idea. A total around $20 million or so is about the best it can hope for.

That leaves us with Rock the Kasbah and Jem and the Holograms. Neither film could even crack the top ten and both are among the worst openings in recent history. First up, Kasbah, Despite having Bill Murray in the lead, the comedy about finding the next Afghanistan idol landed with thud in 13th place with just $1.5 million. That is the fifth-worst opening for a film in 2000 theaters (beating out the August turky We Are Your Friends) and among the worst openings ever for Murray (his next worse was film that opened in just 27 theaters) But as bad as Kasbah was, Jem was even worse. The film ignored fans of the series - you know, the audience who would have actually shown up, and was in turn ignored by everyone else. Opening to $1.32 million (15th place), it is the fourth-worst opening for a film playing in 2000 theaters and the worst opening of all time for a movie in 2400 or more theaters (Jem opened in 2413 for a frightening $527 per-theater average. The only saving grace for Jem is its $5 million budget - with foreign totals, it's bound to be at least a minor saving grace.

Next week we'll get the Bradley Cooper-led chef dramedy Burnt, the Sandra Bullock-led political dramedy Our Brand is Crisis and the horror-comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. I have a feeling we're in for another semi-disappointed weekend, but we'll just have to wait and see.


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