Box Office: The Martian Comes Close to Breaking Gravity’s October Opening

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Box Office: The Martian Comes Close to Breaking Gravity's October Opening.

The Martian grossed an estimated $55 million its opening weekend, putting it within a million of breaking Gravity’s October opening record

Two years ago, Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space epic Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, opened on this same weekend to the tune of $55.7 million on its way to $274 million domestic and another $450 million overseas, and that movie’s success helped with 20th Century Fox‘s decision to greenlight Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s bestseller The Martian

Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels and many more, The Martian received raves from its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and after an $18 million opening day on Friday (with $2.5 million in Thursday previews), it’s being estimated at $55 million for its opening weekend, which is just below that October record set by Gravity. The movie had a big enough bump on Saturday that there’s a good chance its weekend take could be larger based on actuals, but it still scored an impressive $14,357 per theater in 3,831 theaters without having the IMAX screens that Gravity had. According to the RealD, 46% of The Martian‘s opening weekend came from its 3D installations (a percentage just below Jurassic World over the summer) with an estimated $23 million of that amount coming from screens equipped with RealD. 

Check back tomorrow for an update to see if The Martian did better than its estimates.

With little family competition, Sony Pictures Animation‘s Hotel Transylvania 2, the hit sequel to the Adam Sandler-produced animated comedy, dropped to second place with $33 million, a minimal 32% drop from its record-setting opening weekend. It has grossed $90.5 million in just ten days, which is almost $14 million more than the original movie grossed in the same period three years ago. It’s just days away from becoming the 20th movie of the year to gross more than $100 million.

After two weeks in limited release where it amassed $3 million, Denis Villeneuve’s Mexican cartel crime-thriller Sicario (Lionsgate), starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, expanded nationwide into 2,620 theaters where it grossed an estimated $12.1 million ($4,611 per theater), moving it up into third place with $15.1 million grossed so far.

Nancy Meyer’s comedy The Intern (Warner Bros.), starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, dropped a respectable 34% in its second weekend to fourth place with $11.6 million and $36.5 million total to date.

20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials dropped to fifth place with $7.7 million, down 47% with $63.2 million grossed in three weeks, which is down roughly $10 million from the gross of The Maze Runner during the same weekend last year.  Either way, Fox is already planning the third installment Maze Runner: The Death Cure for February 17, 2017 with production to start soon. 

Warner Bros.’ crime-drama Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp, took in $5.9 million this weekend, down 46% from last weekend, as it took sixth place  with $52.5 million grossed to date.

With competition from The Martian, Universal’s ensemble adventure-drama Everest took a 58% dive in its second weekend of nationwide release, taking seventh place with $5.5 million and $33.2 million grossed to date domestically. It has crossed the $100 million mark internationally to make its worldwide gross $136.5 million.

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit (Universal) took eighth place with $3.9 million (down 41%), bringing its four-week domestic total to $57.7 million. 

Robert Zemeckis’ telling of the true story of The Walk (Sony), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as high-wire artist Philippe Petit, attempted the same feat as Everest by opening for one week solely on 448 large format 3D screens including 365 IMAX screens, but it only grossed $1.5 million over the weekend or $3,460 per theater after bringing in $580,000 on Wednesday and Thursday. (That’s compared to the $7.2 million for Everest in a similar number of theaters two weeks ago.)  This isn’t a good sign for the movie’s nationwide expansion this coming Friday unless word-of-mouth helps the movie find more of an audience when not facing a juggernaut like The Martian

As far as limited releases, Davis Guggenheim’s doc He Named Me Malala (Fox Searchlight) opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. where it earned $56,000, or $14,000 per theater.

Lionsgate opened the Julianne Moore-Ellen Page drama Freeheld in five theaters where it grossed $40,000, a fairly bland $8,000 per location, although they are expected to expand it wider in the coming weeks.

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