Box Office: 'Martian' Back on Top Amid Carnage; 'Steve Jobs' Hits Glitch With $7.3M
The news is grim for new offerings 'Last Witch Hunter' and 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,' while Bill Murray's 'Rock the Kasbah' and 'Jem and the Holograms' score the lowest openings of all time for a major Hollywood release playing in 2,000 theaters.
Widespread carnage struck the pre-Halloween box office as four new films bombed — including offerings from Vin Diesel and Bill Murray — while Danny Boyle's critical darling Steve Jobs hit a glitch when expanding nationwide.
Instead, Ridley Scott's The Martian, Sony's family entry Goosebumps and Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama Bridge of Spies topped the chart.
The Martian, from Fox, reclaimed the crown in its fourth weekend, narrowly beating Goosebumps with $15.9 million from 3,504 theaters for a soaring domestic total of $166.4 million. It also dominated offshore, earning another $30 million from 72 markets to rocket past the $200 million mark for a global payload of $384.4 million, according to Rentrak.
Domestically, Goosebumps grossed $15.5 million from 3,501 locations in its second outing for a strong domestic cume of $43.7 million. Internationally, the movie earned $5.8 million from 24 markets for an early foreign cume of $9.2 million and worldwide total of $53.1 million.
Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, held up especially well in its second weekend with $11.4 million from 2,811 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $32.6 million. DreamWorks, Participant Media and Disney partnered on the $40 million historical drama, which fell a scant 26 percent, less than the drops for past October titles Gone Girl, The Social Network and Captain Phillips.
Disney is also celebrating Ant-Man's late run in China, where the superhero movie took in another $22 million this weekend for a 10-day total of $81.9 million and global tally of $493.8 million. Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 also remained a vibrant player, coming in No. 2 internationally with $28.7 million to race past the $300 million mark globally and finish Sunday with $315.8 million in worldwide ticket sales.
Bridge of Spies, which Fox is handling overseas in many markets, also is doing well for a historical drama, taking in $5 million from 23 markets for an early global cume of $39.7 million.
In the U.S., Steve Jobs was expected to generate as much interest among adults as Bridge of Spies, considering the attention surrounding Boyle's biopic, starring Michael Fassbender as the legendary and controversial Apple co-founder. But the Universal film had to settle for a seventh-place finish after grossing $7.3 million from 2,493 theaters.
Those backing Steve Jobs had wanted to land somewhere in the teens, but are counting on a long run throughout awards season (an A- CinemaScore should help word of mouth). Jobs is over-indexing in upscale theaters in major cities, including the Bay Area — home of Apple — but falling flat in Middle America. Two weekends ago, the $30 million movie scored the top location average of the year to date when opening in New York and Los Angeles. Through Sunday, its domestic total is $10 million.
"We're going to redouble our efforts to support these markets," said Universal domestic distribution chief Nic Carpou. "It's working great in these theaters now, and we want to make sure it continues to do so."
Aaron Sorkin wrote the adapted script for Boyle's film, with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels starring opposite Fassbender.
In terms of other movies written by Sorkin, Moneyball launched to $19.5 million in late September 2011, while The Social Network debuted to $22.4 million. Both of those movies played nationwide from the outset.
The Last Witch Hunter came in No. 4 with $10.8 million from 3,082 theaters, a poor start considering its production budget of $75 million to $80 million. The Lionsgate movie, starring Diesel as an immortal witch hunter who attempts to stop a plague from destroying New York City, will need to do strong business overseas. So far, it has earned $13.4 million from 53 markets for an early global total of $24.2 million. It has yet to roll out in a number of major markets.
Lionsgate, whose financial exposure is reduced by co-financing partners and foreign presales, had banked on a debut in the mid- to high-teens.
Marking a franchise low, Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension landed at No. 6 with $8.2 million. The 3D horror film is only playing in 1,656 theaters, compared to nearly 3,000 locations for the last Paranormal Activity film. That's because many cinema owners refused to play the Halloween offering because of a bold deal between Paramount, AMC and Canada's Cineplex to make the Blumhouse-produced film available in homes earlier than usual.
Ghost Dimension, however, is a franchise best in 12 of 33 markets including Me
According to Paramount, Ghost Dimension generated $3.1 million at AMC locations on Friday and Saturday, more than any other film playing at the country's three other largest chains, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike, all of which passed on the movie. Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said this proves there was plenty of demand for Ghost Dimension. "The issue isn’t that people didn’t show up because of the VOD window," he said.
Overseas, Ghost Dimension, costing in the mid-teens to produce, impressed with $18 million from 23 markets, including $2.3 million in Mexico and $2.3 million in the U.K. The film is a franchise best in 12 of 33 markets and is the third-best horror opening in Mexico and the second-highest horror opening in Brazil.
Ghost Dimension and Last Witch Hunter both skewed male, while 66 percent of Ghost Dimension's audience was under the age of 25 (usually, horror titles skew female).
Blumhouse and Universal's Jem and the Holograms and Barry Levinson's Rock the Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, didn't even crack the top 10 in their debuts. Rock the Kasbah took in $1.5 million from 2,012 theaters, the worst start for a film starring Murray and for Open Road Films.
Kasbah stars Murray as Richie Lanz, a rock manager past his prime who accompanies a performer (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour in war-ridden Afghanistan. When she bails, he comes across a young singer (Leem Lubany) who could be the biggest discovery of his career, and arranges for her to appear on Afghan Star, the equivalent of American Idol. Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and Danny McBride also star in Rock the Kasbah.
Younger females out-and-out rejected Jon M. Chu's Jem and the Holograms, based on the popular '80s cartoon about teenage girls longing to become famous performers. The live-action movie earned $1.3 million from 2,413 theaters — the worst opening of all time for a major studio release going out in 2,000 or more theaters, a record previously held by another music-themed film, Warner Bros.' August 2015 release We Are Your Friends ($1.8 million).
It's also the third worst start of all time for a new film playing in 2,000 theaters, followed by Rock the Kasbah. The two movies to have done worse were indie titles that weren't backed by a major distributor, or serious marketing spend — Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and Delgo ($511,920).
If here's any solace, it's that Universal and Hasbro spent $5 million to make Jem, starring Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis. Blum, Scooter Braun and Hasbro produced.
New offerings at the specialty box office included Carey Mulligan's period British drama Suffragette. The specialty film debuted to $77,000 from four theaters for a location average of $19,250 for Focus Features, the best of the weekend.
Drama I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman, opened to $16,036 from two theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a meek location average of $8,010 for Broad Green Pictures. The film is a tough sell, since most moviegoers are used to seeing Silverman in comedic roles.
Among holdovers, Room expanded into a total of 23 theaters for a location average of $11,059 for A24. Truth, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, posted a theater average of $6,534 as Sony Pictures Classics expanded the movie into a total of 18 locations.
Oct. 25, 2:20 p.m. Updated with foreign numbers.