Box Office: 'Pan' Bombs With $15.5M Debut; 'Martian' Stays No. 1 With Stellar $37M
Elsewhere, Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk' also finds itself in a free-fall, while 'Steve Jobs' nabs one of the top location averages of all time in limited launch; 'Pan' also struggles overseas.
Joe Wright's big-budget Pan is looking like a major loss for Warner Bros. after opening to $15.5 million from 3,515 theaters in North America, a disastrous start for a film that cost $150 million to make.
Instead, Ridley Scott's The Martian won the weekend race with a better-than-expected $37 million from 3,854 locations after declining a mere 32 percent in its second outing for a domestic total of $108.7 million. The space epic, starring Matt Damon, also continued to dazzle overseas, earning another $58.1 million from 74 markets for an early foreign total of $119 million and global total of $227.7 million.
Among new markets, The Martian earned a massive $12.1 million in South Korea, the largest Fox opening of all time and an industry best for the month of October. In Germany, it opened to $7.1 million, two times larger than Gravity and 27 percent ahead of Interstellar.
The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2 both beat Pan overseas. Pan opened to a muted $20.5 million from 52 markets representing 40 percent of the foreign marketplace, putting its early foreign total at $40.6 million (it opened two weekends ago in Australia). Unless it does big business internationally, Warners is facing a steep loss. One hope is China, where Pan rolls out Oct. 22. So far, it is doing best in Latin America, while struggling in Europe.
In the U.S., Pan also got beat by Sony's rival family offering Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in $20.3 million from 3,768 theaters in its third weekend for a North American total of $116.8 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 also remains a formidable force overseas, grossing a strong $22.7 million internationally from 59 markets for a foreign cume of $90.9 million and worldwide total of $207.7 million.
In short, families didn't show much interest in Wright's Peter Pan origins tale, starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and newcomer Levi Miller. The film received scathing reviews and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. Warners has had a tough ride at the box office this year, and Pan furthers its woes after box-office losers Jupiter Ascending and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The studio declined official comment on Pan, but one distribution source said "the movie failed to bring in an audience of any size."
Originally, the live-action family title was set to open this past July and be a prominent summer player, but Warners knew there were problems and pushed its release back at the eleventh hour, saying reshoots were needed. The film is a special-effects extravaganza, with virtually no real sets.
Pan isn't the isn't the only high-profile movie that bombed.
Robert Zemeckis' The Walk expanded nationwide Friday into more than 2,515 locations after debuting to a muted $1.6 million last weekend in an exclusive Imax run. The film, which has awards aspirations, took in $3.7 million for a seventh-place finish and domestic total of $6.4 million. It's the lowest nationwide start on record for the filmmaker, and the seventh-worst bow of all time for a film opening in more than 2,500 locations (the early Imax run is a mitigating factor).
Sony and TriStar surely hoped for more, although The Walk cost a modest $35 million to make, so the studio's financial exposure is limited. "We're disappointed. It's a film we are very proud of," Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer said. "But what a great hold on Hotel Transylvania. That's really good news."
Overseas, The Walk is also doing muted business, earning $5.2 million from 60 markets this weekend for an early foreign total of $7.1 million and global cume of $13.5 million
One new offering eagerly embraced by audiences in New York and Los Angeles was Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs, from Universal. The Steve Jobs biopic took in $521,000 for the weekend from four theaters, putting its location average at $130,236 — the best showing of 2015 to date and the biggest since American Sniper ($158,354).
It's also among the top screen averages of all time, and the fourth-best for a title going out in four theaters behind The Grand Budapest Hotel ($202,792), American Sniper and Moonrise Kingdom ($130,749).
Steve Jobs' performance bodes well as it prepares to expand timed to awards season. The critically acclaimed film was written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels. The film skewed young for an adult drama, with 51 percent of the audience under the age of 35, and skewed slightly male (53 percent).
Boyle's film will be playing in more than 60 theaters next weekend before rolling out nationwide on Oct. 23.
Documentary He Named Me Malala, another awards hopeful, expanded into a total of 446 theaters in its second weekend, earning an estimated $670,000 for a location average of roughly $1,502. That puts the movie's early cume at $752,000 for Fox Searchlight.
Elsewhere, The Intern — a bright spot for Warners — continued to hold well, grossing an estimated $8.5 million from 3,224 theaters in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $49.2 million. The Anne Hathaway-Robert De Niro comedy placed No. 4, followed by Denis Villeneuve's awards contender Sicario with a pleasing $7.2 million from 2,620 locations.
Overseas, The Intern earned another $14.8 million from 62 markets for a strong foreign total of $57.6 million and global take of $106.8 million.
From Lionsgate, Sicario has now earned $26.7 million domestically and $16.7 overseas for an early global haul of $43.4 million.
Oct. 11, 12:54 p.m. Updated with international numbers.