'Martian' Holds Strong at #1, 'Pan' Flops & 'Steve Jobs' Big in Limited Release
It was a weekend of highs and lows, with the lows coming from the more-disappointing-than-expected opening weekend for Warner Bros' Pan. The Peter Pan origin story directed by Joe Wright was struggling to gain a foothold well before its opening weekend and opened even worse than even the most dire predictions expected. At the high end of the box office, however, The Martian enjoyed a strong second weekend and, in limited release, Universal appears to have another hit in the making with Steve Jobs.

Beginning with Pan, the $150 million production was originally set to be released this summer, but was moved to October so reshoots could take place. Tracking reports had the film opening in the low $20 million range and I predicted a $18.4 million opening, but even that proved too high. Playing in 3,515 theaters, the Hugh Jackman-led fantasy feature could only muster an estimated $15.5 million.

The film did score a "B+" CinemaScore, which could typically mean solid holdover numbers, but when a film doesn't open very big there's only so far for it to drop anyway. In the end, Pan is looking at a overall domestic haul in the $32-35 million range. So you can go ahead and this one to the list of films including Jupiter Ascending, Tomorrowland and Fantastic Four as big budget 2015 releases that failed to reach much of a domestic audience.

On a more positive note, Universal's 2015 continues to shine as they ushered Steve Jobs into four theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend and the results were impressive. The film brought in an estimated $521,000 for a per theater average of $130,236, the best for any film released in 2015 and third overall for the year behind American Sniper's impressive early year numbers. Jobs expands further next weekend and nationwide on October 23. Its international release kicks off November 12 in thirteen territories including Germany and the U.K. and Ireland.

Another new release this weekend, releasing in only 375 theaters, is Lionsgate's Ladrones. While unable to crack the weekend top ten, the Joe Menendez-directed comedy scored an estimated $1.3 million and a thirteenth place finish.

Moving to the weekend's holdovers we scroll up to the top of the box office and the weekend's #1 film for a second week in a row. Not only did The Martian manage a strong holdover number, it was a very strong sophomore session for Ridley Scott's sci-fi. Dropping only 32%, the film brought in an estimated $37 million, bringing its cume to $108.7 million. When compared to the likes of Interstellar, The Martian is nearly $12 million ahead of where Christopher Nolan's 2014 feature was at the same time in its run to a $188 million domestic haul.

It seems The Martian may be on its way to $200+ million should it continue this pace and might even threaten to top Matt Damon's all-time number one film, The Bourne Ultimatum, at $227.4 million. Add to that, some Oscar prognosticators are attempting to call it a possible Best Picture nominee, which would certainly bolster its box office, but I'm not ready to say it's on that level just yet.

Also holding strong is Hotel Transylvania 2, bringing in an estimated $20.3 million and another second place finish. The 38.8% drop is a bit more than I predicted, but it is still outperforming its predecessor to the tune of $14 million so far as its cume is now up to $116.8 million.

Expanding into 2,509 theaters this weekend, Robert Zemeckis' The Walk appears to be a film that just couldn't muster audience interest. Bringing in an estimated $3.6 million the best this high-wire act could manage was a seventh place finish and with the likes of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, Goosebumps and Woodlawn opening next weekend, this is the last time you'll see this one in the top ten. On the bright side, the budget was only a reported $35 million, so Sony and TriStar won't be taking much of a hit to the pocketbook.

Also expanding this weekend was the Fox Searchlight documentary He Named Me Malala and, despite a pretty strong publicity campaign, its expansion into 446 theaters didn't make much of a dent. An estimated weekend haul of $685,000 for a $1,536 per theater average earned the film a 15th place finish for the weekend. Just behind Malala is Broadgreen's 99 Homes, which didn't fair any better. Expanding into 691 theaters, 99 Homes ended with an estimated weekend total of $630,857 and a $913 per theater average.

Finally, in limited release, Focus World delivered Stephen Daldry's year-old feature Trash to 17 theaters and the film earned a whimpering $10,000 for a $588 per theater average. Odd for a Daldry film to go this unseen considering the three-time Oscar nominee's track record, but I guess they all can't be winners.

You can find the complete weekend results here and we'll have actuals tomorrow afternoon.

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