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Marking the latest adult offering to miss at the box office, David Gordon Green’s dramedy Our Brand Is Crisis opened Friday to $1.1 million for a projected $3.3 million weekend, the worst nationwide start of Sandra Bullock’s career.
The political film, also starring Billy Bob Thornton, was a passion project for Bullock and producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov. It has been ravaged by critics, however, while audiences gave it a C+ CinemaScore. Warners co-financed the $28 million movie with Participant Media.
It certainly doesn’t help that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, but no one expected the weekend’s new offerings to get this spooked.
Our Brand is Crisis, pacing to come in No. 7, also means more bad news for Warner Bros., which has suffered a string of misses, including Pan and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Inspired by true events, Bullock and Thornton play political operatives trying to influence the Bolivian presidential election.
To date, Bullock’s lowest nationwide opening is Two If By Sea, which debuted to $4.7 million in 1996.
Our Brand is Crisis looks to be beat by fellow new offering Burnt, although the Bradley Cooper cooking dramedy is also getting scalded. Directed by John Wells, The Weinstein Co. release grossed $1.5 million Friday from 3,003 theaters for a projected $5.1 million weekend.
Burnt, earning a B- CinemaScore, looks to place No. 4.
Paramount’s Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse won’t even crack the top 10 in its debut. The Halloween offering grossed an estimated $708,000 Friday from 1,509 theaters for a $1.5 million-$1.8 million weekend.
Scouts — starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman and Halston Sage — is being released by Paramount in the same way Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was: going out in a limited number of theaters after many cinema owners refused to carry both movies because of Paramount’s deal with AMC and Cineplex to make the pair of genre titles available earlier than usual on VOD.
Paramount’s intention is to make sure there isn’t a long period of time between when the movies leave theaters and are available to watch at home.
The failure of the three new offerings to rally sizeable business means that holdovers The Martian, Goosebumps and Bridge of Spies will continue to top the box-office chart. The Martian is tipped to win with $10 million-$11 million, followed closely by Goosebumps with $9 million-$10 million.
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, is one of the few fall adult offerings working with audiences across the country. The Cold War drama is expected to gross $7.5 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $44 million.
Universal’s Steve Jobs is tumbling a steep 65 percent in its second weekend in wide release. Danny Boyle’s biopic is expected to take in $2.5 million for the weekend for a domestic cume of $14.5 million.
Oct. 31, 7:45 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers.