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There will be no fairy tale ending for Warner Bros.’ big-budget Pan.
Pan is bombing at the box office, where it grossed $5.2 million Friday from 3,350 theaters. That means the Warner Bros. movie might not earn more than $18 million for the weekend, a dismal start considering Pan‘s $150 million production budget.
The Peter Pan origins tale is getting beat by holdovers The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2, both of which will see their total domestic earnings clear the $100 million mark by Sunday. From Ridley Scott, The Martian will win the weekend with a projected $36.7 million, a mere 32 percent decline. On Friday, the space epic took in $10.8 million.
Directed by Joe Wright, Pan stars Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and Garrett Hedlund. It is the first studio tentpole directed by Wright, known for Atonement, Hanna and Pride & Prejudice (2005), and has received scathing reviews. Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.
In terms of other big-budget live-action fairy tales, Disney’s Cinderella earned $22 million on its first Friday for a $67.9 million domestic debut, while Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman took in $20.5 million for a $56.2 million opening.
Originally, Pan was set to open this past July and be a prominent summer player, but Warners knew there were problems and pushed the tentpole at the 11th hour in order to do reshoots.
Pan hopes to make up ground overseas, where it’s opening in numerous major markets this weekend. And it rolls out in China Oct. 22. Unless it does big business internationally, Warners is facing a steep loss. So far, returns are muted. The film earned $4.1 million Friday for an early foreign total of $11 million, including $4.3 million in Australia, where it opened two weekends ago.
Wright’s film isn’t the isn’t the only high-profile movie struggling.
Robert Zemeckis‘ The Walk expanded nationwide Friday into more than 2,500 locations after debuting to a muted $1.6 million last weekend in an exclusive Imax run. The film took in roughly $1.2 million on Friday for a projected $3.7 million weekend and seventh-place finish. It’s one of the lowest debuts of Zemeckis‘ career.
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.
One new offering taking off at the box office is Danny Boyle‘s Steve Jobs biopic Steve Jobs, which is opening in New York and Los Angeles. The Universal title should earn $530,000 for the weekend from four theaters, putting its location average at $132,500 — the best showing of 2015 to date and the biggest since American Sniper ($158,354).
The critically acclaimed film was written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen.
Oct. 9, 12:30 p.m. Updated with weekend projections.
Oct. 10, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Friday estimates.
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