Three major studio films opened in wide release and it was the least-talked about, least-buzzed of the trio that won the weekend. Sony Pictures’ “Goosebumps” topped the box-office with a $23 million opening. A PG-rated, family-friendly Halloween-esque programmer, its A Cinemascore suggests audiences were pleased and could be flocking to the movie for weeks to come. The other Halloween-related programmer, Guillermo del Toro’s R-Rated gothic horror/romance for adults, “Crimson Peak,” unfortunately was a huge flop. In almost 3,000 theaters, “Crimson Peak” couldn’t even crack the $13 million mark, barely made it into the top five, and was almost beat by “Hotel Transylvania 2” which has been in theaters for four weeks now.
Numbers for del Toro’s movie plummeted after Friday and a B- Cinemascore suggests “Crimson Peak” is probably already dead in the water. And its unremarkable $13.4 million bow overseas didn’t help much either. At the cost of $60 million, not including promotion and advertising, it’s a big blow to the del Toro brand and Legendary Pictures, who footed the bill. Even before its release, del Toro’s “Pacific Rim 2” was suddenly pulled from the 2017 schedule and now its fate seems all the more dubious, though Universal and Legendary have said they are committed to the sequel. The genre-y competition starts to get tough next week with “The Last Witch Hunter” and “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” so it’s not looking good for the future prospects of “Crimson Peak.”
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On 2,800 screens DreamWorks‘ “Bridge of Spies” from Steven Spielberg fared slightly better, taking in $15.3 million for its opening weekend, respectable numbers for a non-genre-y and solemn drama starring Tom Hanks. But perhaps the most impressive showing of the weekend was 20th Century Fox’s “The Martian,” which only dropped 41.9% in its third week of release and added $21.5 million to a domestic total which is in reach of $150 million. Globally, “The Martian” has already cleared $319 million. That makes it the 16th highest grossing film of 2015 worldwide in just three weekends. That basically assures $400 million won’t be a problem, and perhaps if it takes off in China — where the movie has small, but crucial subplot — maybe it can climb much higher. “The Martian” is currently director Ridley Scott’s third-highest grossing movie ever domestically and at this rate it should be able to overtake his number one (“Gladiator” with $187.7 million).
A slightly less-wide wide release was Pureflix’s aspiration football drama “Woodlawn.” On 1,553 screens it earned itself an unremarkable $4.1 million, only a $2,640 per screen average. Last week’s flop, Warner Bros. “Pan” fell a huge 61.7% in week two and slid down to the number seven position. It has grossed $25 million domestically so far, and may fall out of the top 10 by next week. Internationally, grosses are looking slightly better, hauling in $72 million to date. But “Pan” will need a massive windfall from China to not become a huge write-off for the ailing Warner Bros. who are having a dismal 2015.
Unfortunately for Tri-Star, audiences did not take to “The Walk” from director Robert Zemeckis. In its second week of wide release, the movie dropped like a stone (a massive -67.7%). It hasn’t yet cleared $10 million domestic and it has already dropped out of the top ten. The picture is poised to be a semi-expensive failure for the studio and could put an end to the chorus of critical praise that suggested Oscars down the road (it’ll still likely get nominated like crazy in the VFX categories). Meanwhile, stalled around $40 million, Universal‘s “Everest” is a movie most audiences have totally forgotten as well.
In box-office milestones, “Ant-Man” has finally opened in China and now may hit the $500 million mark worldwide. The Marvel movie now has grossed $454.6 million globally, and has surpassed “Terminator: Genisys” to become the 10th highest grossing film of 2015 worldwide. Universal‘s “Steve Jobs” had another terrific weekend and jumped +197.2% as the movie added 56 screens from the four it boasted last week. Still hot, the film’s $25,833 per screen average beat every movie in limited release save for one and it’s poised to break out in a big way when it finally opens wide.
Speaking of, the limited release field was extremely busy this weekend as well. The largest narrative to come out of that will be the “failure” of Netflix’s “Beasts Of No Nation” theatrically. The Cary Fukunaga-helmed indie grossed $50,699 from 31 screens for an extremely low $1,635 per screen average. It’s a dismal number no doubt, but it fails to capture the full scope of the release. Recent statistics have 43 million Netflix subscribers in the U.S. and almost 70 million worldwide. That’s a lot of people who could have either watched it this weekend and or could still watch it… forever. It’s Netflix’s own title, they probably won’t ever take it out of circulation. So yes, while more cinephiles could have gone to see the film theatrically this weekend, Netflix probably isn’t worried. And to be fair, it is an unflinching and brutal film. Even within the Netflix model it’s likely not going to be a huge hit right away.
More encouraging was the platform release of A24’s “Room” starring Brie Larson. The film won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and A24 is positioning the drama as an Oscar-frontrunner (A24 has never had an Oscar nomination yet, but hey, they could still save cinema). “Room” grossed $120,000 from four screens for an excellent $30,000 per screen average. It’s around the 8th highest per screen average of 2015, but it’s actually 13k lower than “A Most Violent Year,” an A24 film that was released at the tail end of 2014.
The mildly received “Truth” from Sony Pictures Classics didn’t really light up the specialty field either; just $76,646 from six screens for an ok $12,774 PSA. In comparison, WeGoUSA‘s arty wuxia film “The Assassin” also scored a $12K per screen average, but it was on four screens, and features no such Hollywood stars as Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford.
1. Goosebumps — $23,500,000
2. The Martian — $21,500,000 ($143,795,658)
3. Bridge of Spies — $15,380,000
4. Crimson Peak — $12,850,000
5. Hotel Transylvania 2 — $12,250,000 ($136,409,388)
6. Pan — $5,860,000 ($25,738,183)
7. The Intern — $5,405,000 ($58,730,982)
8. Sicario — $4,500,000 ($34,662,613)
9. Woodlawn — $4,100,000
10. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials — $2,750,000 ($75,411,970)