Box-Office Preview: 'Goosebumps' Could Out-Spook 'Crimson Peak,' 'Bridge of Spies'
As awards season heats up, the specialty box office sees the expansion of 'Steve Jobs' and the debuts of 'Truth,' 'Room' and 'Beasts of No Nation.'
Other new players include Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks. The DreamWorks and Participant Media title is targeting older adults, meaning it is banking on a long run throughout awards season, versus an eye-popping debut. Christian sports drama Woodlawn also opens nationwide.
Holdover The Martian could well rocket past everyone to stay atop the box office in its third weekend, however.
The major tracking services show Goosebumps, based on the bestselling children's book series, opening between $20 million and $24 million. Since prerelease surveys have been unreliable, Sony insiders are being more cautious, suggesting $12 million to $15 million.
If tracking is right, Goosebumps should beat both Bridge of Spies and Crimson Peak, thanks to the lucrative family audience. Crimson Peak is tracking to open in the mid-teens or better, while Bridge of Spies should open in the mid-to-high-teens.
A live-action/CGI hybrid, Goosebumps won't have to worry about too much competition from kid-friendly title Pan, which walked the plank last weekend after its debut. Fellow Sony title Hotel Transylvania 2, however, is still a vibrant player in the marketplace as it heads into its fourth weekend.
Goosebumps, a 3D horror-comedy, directed by Rob Letterman and adapted by Scott Alexander, tells the story of a young teenager (Dylan Minnette) who befriends the girl next door (Odeya Rush). Her father, played by Jack Black, is the author of the famous Goosebumps series who keeps a dangerous secret — the ghosts, monsters and other characters in his books are in fact real, but kept locked away in the various manuscripts. It's up to the kids to save the day when the creatures are unintentionally unleashed.
Goosebumps, garnering strong reviews, cost at least $58 million to produce, and was co-financed by Sony, LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures. The Sony film will open in more than 3,400 theaters domestically, while Bridge of Spies is opting for a smaller footprint, or roughly 2,800 locations.
Spielberg directed Bridge of Spies from a script by Matt Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen. Inspired by real events, the historical drama recounts the story of lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks), who was plucked from his ordinary existence and tasked with helping negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda co-star in the well-received movie, from DreamWorks and Participant Media. Disney is handling the film domestically per its deal with DreamWorks. Bridge of Spies cost roughly $40 million to make.
Rated R, Crimson Peak was produced and financed by Legendary Pictures and is being released by Universal.
Costing $55 million to produce, Crimson Peak lacks no amount of star power. Set in late 19th century England, Mia Wasikowska plays a young author and newlywed who soon discovers that her charming husband's crumbling mansion is filled with menacing, other-worldly entities that her groom (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister (Jessica Chastain) try to hide. Charlie Hunnam also stars.
Del Toro's film will play in 2,983 theaters, including Imax locations, and is tracking best among females. Overseas, it opens day and date in 53 markets.
As awards season picks up in earnest, the specialty box office sees plenty of action as Steve Jobs expands into a total of 60 locations after launching in New York and Los Angeles last weekend, while Truth, Room and Beasts of No Nation begin their platform runs.
Recounting the scandal that lost Dan Rather his anchor chair at CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes her job, James Vanderbilt's Truth stars Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, and is being released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Lenny Abrahamson's Room, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her book of the same name, stars Brie Larson as a young mother trapped in a windowless room with her young son (Jacob Tremblay). Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers and William H. Macy also star in the critically acclaimed film, which is being released by A24.
Beasts of No Nation is a daring experiment in terms of its theatrical release, since it is a Netflix title that will debut on the streaming service Friday. The dark African war drama, likewise earning stellar reviews, is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars Idris Elba and Ama K. Abebrese. Most theaters refuse to carry a film that is opening day and date on another platform, but, on behalf of Netflix, Bleecker Street has booked 30 theaters in 27 markets, many of them Landmark theaters.