'Spectre' Huge Overseas as 'Martian' Tops Worst Weekend of 2015
by Brad Brevet
November 1, 2015
For the third weekend in a row the conversation concerns new films failing to meet expectations, though this Halloween weekend in particular is even more dire. With newcomers Burnt and Our Brand is Crisis falling well below even the most pessimistic of predictions, this was the worst weekend of 2015 yet with the top twelve tallying an estimated $62 million. That's $3.8 million below the first weekend in September when War Room topped the box office in its second weekend in release with only $9.4 million. However, in more positive news, Sony reports Spectre is breaking records left and right as it hits theaters overseas. Let's get to it...
Beginning with the domestic box office, Fox has a bonafide hit on their hands as The Martian finished #1 for the second weekend in a row and the fourth weekend out of the five it has been in theaters. Dropping only 27.5%, adding another $11.4 million to its total, The Martian is now at $182.8 million domestically ($428.4m worldwide), just $5.2m behind Interstellar's overall domestic cume. It is also just $4.8 million shy of becoming director Ridley Scott's highest grossing domestic release of all-time.
Coming in second this weekend was Sony's Goosebumps, adding an estimated $10.2 million to its cume as the film has done well in its first three weekends. It will, however, be interesting to see where it finishes up as its international haul hasn't been hefty as of yet (just $9.2 million heading into the weekend) and that $58 million budget means its going to need to add some more dough to its bank before all is said and done.
Arriving in third position we're still yet to find one of the weekend's new releases. This weekend's top three mirrors last weekend with Bridge of Spies holding on very nicely yet again. With another sub-30-percent drop, this time bringing in $8 million, the cumulative total of the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks thriller grows to $45 million.
Not even in fourth do we have a new release or even one of last weekend's new releases for that matter. Nope, it's the now, six-week-old Hotel Transylvania 2, which did solid numbers over the holiday weekend bringing in an estimated $5.8 million. The animated sequel is now $7.7 million ahead of its predecessor's overall cume from 2012 and Sony's top-grossing domestic release of 2015 by a large margin. In fact, check out Sony's 2015 chart and notice how the top three films—Hotel Transylvania 2, Pixels and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2—are all Adam Sandler productions. Add to that, all three star Kevin James, either in person or feature his voice. That will all change next weekend with the release of Spectre, but it goes to show what kind of year Sony has been dealing with so far.
Finally, we come to one of the weekend's new releases as the Weinstein's Burnt finished in fifth place with an estimated $5 million. For star Bradley Cooper, this is his second weak release in a row following Aloha earlier this year. Aloha, however, managed $9.6 million in its opening weekend despite a rash of negative press surrounding nearly every aspect of that film. Burnt didn't exactly have positive reviews heading into the weekend and a "B-" CinemaScore suggests it won't be hanging around for too long. Cooper, however, won't be singed for too long as he has Joy, his latest teaming with director David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence, arriving in December.
Lionsgate's The Last Witch Hunter dropped 56% for a sixth place, $4.7 million finish, just ahead of fellow sophomore feature, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Ghost Dimension brought in an estimated $3.4 million, a 57% drop from its opening, to go along with an additional $13.5 million internationally as its worldwide cume climbs to $51.3 million.
In eighth is where we find Sandra Bullock's worst, wide release opening to date. With only $3.4 million, the opening weekend for Our Brand is Crisis falls below even Two if by Sea, which opened with $4.6 million in 1996. Even that opening, however, translates to $8.7 million when adjusted to today's ticket prices. This is also another bust for director David Gordon Green whose last true hit was Pineapple Express in 2008, though I'm sure many would argue films such as George Washington and 2014's Joe are where Green truly shines, not his mass audience features.
The political comedy earned only a "C+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which means Our Brand is Crisis is going to fall and fall fast.
Rounding out the top ten has got to be one of the year's biggest disappointments from a box office perspective. Universal's wonderful 2015 at the box office just couldn't manage to make Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs a hit. The film had an excellent opening in limited theaters, but once it went wide last weekend audiences just didn't show up. Dropping a whopping 63.7%, Steve Jobs managed only $2.58 million this weekend and a $1,035 per theater average. It's a shame. It's a very good film and now all involved are going to have to hope for some serious awards juice to keep it in the social consciousness and hope for some serious money from home video.
The last of the weekend's new wide releases is Paramount's Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Opening in only 1,509 theaters as several exhibitors refuse to show the picture on account of Paramount's experiment with a new flexible release window. The zombie comedy managed only $1.77 million and audiences that caught the film on opening night rated it a "B-" with CinemaScore.
It may be hard to ever say whether or not Paramount's release strategy with these two titles—Scouts Guide or Paranormal Activity—was a success or not. Certainly the studio didn't plan on several exhibitors refusing to show either film, which really affects the overall results. Had the studio known, they might have released both films a month earlier, planning on having both titles available On Demand for the Halloween weekend rather than attempting to jockey for position at the multiplex as neither had a very big marketing spend. I don't think this can be looked at as a failure from this perspective as I would think a second, and possibly earlier, attempt next year may be a smart move.
Releasing in limited theaters this weekend, Gaspar Noe's 3-D sex drama Love brought in $15,062 from two theaters and China Lion released The Witness (Wo shi zheng ren) into 40 theaters for a $190,000 debut.
In expansion, A24's Room brought in $269,500 from 49 theaters. Suffragette added 19 theaters and brought in an estimated $155,000 from 23 theaters as it still struggles to find the audience it's going to need if it wants to compete heavily in this year's awards race.
This weekend fell 22.5% below last year, when Ouija finished #1 in what turned out to be the sixth worst weekend of 2014. Next weekend, however, should see a different result. Spectre arrives in 3,600+ theaters domestically on the heels of record breaking numbers overseas.
The latest James Bond film released in six territories so far where it has taken in $80.4 million, which includes record-breaking numbers in the UK where it opened to an estimated £41.7 million ($63.8 million USD) in its first seven days of release. Spectre took the highest seven day gross record in UK box office history from the last James Bond film, Skyfall.
Additional records were broken in the Netherlands where Spectre took in 3.3 million Euro ($3.7 million USD), surpassing the record set by Skyfall. In the Nordic region, Spectre set records in Finland and Norway with 2.35 million Euro ($2.63 million USD) and 24.4 million krone ($2.88 million USD) respectively. In Denmark it achieved the biggest three-day opening of all time with 28.1 million krone ($4.21 million USD), also surpassing Skyfall. In Sweden it added another 24.95 million krone ($2.97 million USD), 30% over the opening of Skyfall.
Add to that a new IMAX record as it opened with the highest per-location average in IMAX history. Spectre is the first film to ever top a $100,000 per-location average, bringing in $5 million on 47 IMAX screens. The previous IMAX, per-location record for an opening weekend was Transformers: Dark of the Moon's per screen of $76K. Spectre will arrive on 537 IMAX screens next weekend, including stateside where it will open in 3,600+ theaters, hoping to top the $88.3 million opening weekend Skyfall enjoyed in 2012.
As for this weekend's complete chart, you can find that here. It will be updated with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.