'Goosebumps' On Top, 'Peak' Flops and A24's 'Room' Strong in Limited Showing
by Brad Brevet
October 18, 2015
Sony was very conservative with their predictions for Goosebumps before the weekend even began. Even after it brought in $600,000 from Thursday night preshows they held firm saying the children's horror was tracking for a $12-15 million opening. While the film fell well shy of my $31.5 million prediction, it did manage enough to top the weekend box office in a weekend that saw four new wide releases hit the marketplace, none of which managed to truly breakout.
With an estimated $23.5 million, Goosebumps took the top spot, playing in 3,501 theaters. The "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences suggests this could be looking at a solid run through the month of October as there is little left to satisfy the family audience until The Peanuts Movie arrives on November 6.
Goosebumps topped Ridley Scott's two-time box office champion The Martian by two million. The Matt Damon-starrer finished its third weekend with an estimated $21.5 million as its cume has now climbed to $143.7 million. This makes it Scott's third highest grossing domestic release of all-time behind Gladiator ($187.7m) and Hannibal ($165m), both of which it's likely to top.
In third we find the second of our four new wide releases in Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies. The director's fourth collaboration with star Tom Hanks fell a bit below expectations with an estimated $15.3 million, but with rock solid reviews and an "A" CinemaScore it should manage a decent domestic run. We shouldn't expect Lincoln ($182m) or Saving Private Ryan ($216.5m) numbers, but with a budget of $40 million and the notoriety of Spielberg and Hanks it should do well over the coming weeks.
A film unlikely to do well is Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, which crashed and burned into 2,984 theaters to the tune of an estimated $12.8 million. Day-to-day declines were immediate after it opened on Friday with $5.2 million where it scored a "B-" CinemaScore. Depending on next weekend's drop, it could find itself out of the top ten after just one week as four new wide releases hit theaters, including audience-stealing features such as The Last Witch Hunter and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
Crimson Peak added $13.4 million from 55 overseas markets ($1 million from IMAX), but with a reported budget of $55 million and what appeared to be a hefty marketing budget it's going to need a lot more as its worldwide cume sits at $26.2 million. For some perspective, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death opened with $15 million earlier this year with absolutely zero star power and finished its domestic run with $26.5 million.
The last of the weekend's new wide releases was the faith-based sports drama Woodlawn, which brought in an estimated $4.1 million from 1,533 theaters to go along with an "A+" CinemaScore. Sibling directors Andrew and Jon Erwin had, more-or-less, the same results last year with their comedy Mom's Night Out, which opened with $4.3 million and went on to make $10.4 million. Mom's Night Out did open in almost 500 fewer theaters, suggesting Woodlawn might not finish as high, but the target audience clearly liked what they saw.
This weekend also saw the release of several limited releases, most impressive among them was A24's Oscar hopeful Room, which opened in four theaters in NY and LA with an estimated $120,000. That's a solid $30,000 per theater average and with it comes an "A" CinemaScore. Many Oscar prognosticators are pegging star Brie Larson as a lock for a Best Actress nomination and a good box office run will absolutely help the film's profile after it took home the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival. I caught this one in Toronto and can tell you it is top notch cinema and Larson gives a standout performance, but do know you're walking in to an emotional gut punch as this one will leave you walking the streets in reflection afterward.
Another Toronto premiere hitting theaters this weekend was Jamie Vanderbilt's Truth. Starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, the film dramatizes the "60 Minutes" investigation into then-President George W. Bush's military service, which cost Dan Rather (Redford) and Mary Mapes (Blanchett) their jobs. Sony Classics released the film in six theaters where it managed an estimated $76,646 for a $12,774 per theater average. Not exactly a strong showing.
Netflix teamed with Bleecker Street to release Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation into 31 theaters this weekend, opening with an estimated $50,699. This one does, of course, come with a major asterisk as it also premiered on Netflix's streaming service the same day it hit theaters, which is where the majority of the film's audience will end up seeing it. Netflix paid $12 million for the feature, which it hopes will enjoy some awards attention over the coming months. As this is relatively new territory we'll have to wait and see how it turns out as there is nothing to necessarily compare it to.
Looking at the holdovers from last weekend, our eye instantly goes to the 61.7% drop for Warner Bros' Pan, which already had a dismal opening. The $150 million budgeted feature could only manage a $5.8 million sophomore session as its cume now sits at $25.7 million domestically.
Universal's Steve Jobs expanded into 60 theaters after its strong limited release last weekend where it enjoyed a $130,381 average from four theaters. While not as strong as Sicario's expansion a month ago, the Danny Boyle-directed feature pulled in an estimated $1.5 million this weekend for a $25,833 per theater average.
Jobs expands nationwide next weekend into approximately 2,400 theaters as it and Bridge of Spies will be competing for the adult eyeballs. Jobs, though, may be the sexier pick of the more adult-driven fare when it comes to millennials should either film expect to truly breakout. Exit polling from the Jobs limited release showed 51% of the audience was under the age of 35, compared to 43% of the Bridge of Spies audience this weekend being over the age of 50.
In overseas news, Ant-Man opened in China this weekend with a $43.2 million three-day weekend. This makes it the second largest Disney and Marvel three-day opening weekend of all-time in China, second only to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Additionally, it just passed Thor to become the ninth highest-grossing release worldwide in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Competing next weekend for a spot in the box office top ten will be Universal's Jem and the Holograms in 2,200+ theaters; Lionsgate's fantasy pic The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel in 3,000+ theaters; Open Road's Rock the Kasbah starring Bill Murray; and Paramount brings Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension to theaters. The theater count on Paranormal Activity, however, is up for question.
Paramount is yet to issue an estimated count as there is some controversy over their release strategy, which will see the film available digitally approximately 17 days after its theatrical release. Trade estimates peg the film hitting around 1,400 theaters compared to the 2,883 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opened in last January. Should Paramount institute the targeting strategy used by The Green Inferno last month that might not mean much of a hit to the weekend box office, but we'll have to wait and see.
And last, but not least, Fox released Suffragette in the UK this weekend on behalf of Pathe and in advance of its limited opening next weekend stateside. The film opened in second place with an estimated $4.5 million from 537 locations.
For complete weekend estimates click here and stay tuned for weekend actuals Monday afternoon.
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