By Daniel Garris
Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 took in $1.79 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated sequel from Sony Pictures Animation was down 9 percent from Wednesday. That represented one of the day's stronger daily percentage holds among wide releases, as holdovers in general took a clear hit from Fox's The Martian entering the marketplace on Thursday night. Hotel Transylvania 2 easily led the weekly box office with a stronger than expected seven-day start of $57.54 million. The film is running an impressive 16 percent ahead of the $49.66 million seven-day take of 2012's Hotel Transylvania.
Warner's The Intern rounded out its first week of release with a second place take of $1.54 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway declined 10 percent from Wednesday's performance. The Intern placed in second for the week with a seven-day start of $24.90 million. The film is running towards the higher end of pre-release expectations and 11 percent ahead of the $22.43 million seven-day gross of 2013's Last Vegas.
Fellow Warner Bros. release Black Mass took in $0.864 million to remain in third. The Johnny Depp led crime drama was down a sharp 24 percent from Wednesday, as the film was especially affected by the arrival of The Martian. Black Mass placed in fifth for the week with $15.52 million. That represented a 50 percent decline from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a solid $46.62 million.
Everest held steady in fourth place with $0.751 million. The 3D adventure drama from Universal was down a sizable 19.5 percent from Wednesday. On the heels of its strong opening week performance, Everest placed in fourth this week with a lackluster $17.63 million. The film was up 76 percent from the previous frame and has grossed a modest $27.67 million through two weeks of release.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $0.717 million. The young adult sequel from Fox fell 13 percent from Wednesday. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials placed in third for the week with $17.91 million. That represented a 52.5 percent slide from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a softer than expected $55.59 million.
Meanwhile, Sony's The Walk remained soft on Thursday with $181,895 from 448 IMAX and PLF locations. The 3D Robert Zemeckis directed film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt was down 24 percent from Wednesday. The Walk has grossed just $422,274 in two days, which is a troubling start for the film going forward. The film will hope to rebound over the weekend with the aid of strong critical reviews.
Lionsgate's Sicario wrapped up its platform run with $132,743 from 59 locations on Thursday. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin has grossed a very encouraging $3.00 million through two weeks of platform release. That is a strong sign for the film as it expands into wide release today.
by Phil Contrino
At the age of 78, Ridley Scott makes filmmakers half his age look downright lazy. Scott has directed a movie a year since 2012, and they haven't been small or easy. He's jumped from sci-fi (Prometheus) to a drug-trade thriller (The Counselor) to a biblical epic (Exodus: Gods and Kings). With The Martian, Scott challenges himself once again in a genre that he's already conquered with two major classics: Alien and Blade Runner.
BoxOffice spoke with Scott the morning after The Martian premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Congrats on the great reaction to the film. Was this the first time you saw it with a big audience, or did you sit in on test screenings?
I have to sit in on the test screenings. It's part of the process. We did five, actually. In the five screenings we had, we rated in the 90s, which is almost unheard of. That usually happens with riotously funny comedies, but we're a drama with some amusing stuff. It was an indication that we were in good shape.
How did you first become interested in The Martian?
I learned years ago that a great script ain't gonna land on your desk. When I'm not working I'm also constantly developing material. But this came to me in one of those rare occurrences. I've been with Fox more than 12 years now, and there's a first-look deal. They came to me and said, "Look, we've got this script and you might want to look at it." I read it and was highly entertained and also impressed that it covered all four quadrants of emotion.
It's far more uplifting than your other sci-fi films. Was it a relief to do something less dark?
I'm a Brit, so positive/negative is about tonality. It becomes academic. It's a very American trait-and I'm not being negative here-to have a fun, uplifting ending. It makes sense because it helps put bums on seats and that's what we're all about. We are here to entertain, and if you don't put bums on seats then you don't have a business.
Do you feel, then, that filmmakers today are not as concerned as they should be with the commercial aspect? Are there too many who are just going to make what they make and not worry about recouping the money?
I'd say the opposite. This is probably going to be unpopular, but I think there are too many [who are overly concerned with the commercial aspect]. People come up with a marketing plan, and that's why we're seeing a lot of mediocre movies that are sometimes blatantly there for commercial reasons, and when you do it, too often they fail.
There's this notion that directors can't always have art and commerce, but I look at you or someone like Stanley Kubrick -who cared a great deal about commercial success- and it's obvious that you can have both. Do you agree?
I do. You try to hit that bar. To certain people it's all about art, and sometimes they fly. It's perfect if something is agreeable and raises the bar artistically but also works commercially. It doesn't happen very often.
Did making the movie in 3D change your approach as a director?
Not at all. I'm blessed with a great eye, and I always have been. It even got in my way because I used to be criticized for being too visual. I would say, "Well, hold on. I'm not making a bloody radio play! I'm making a movie." What I have is an advantage, and I'm constantly looking for a way of evolving and avoiding what I've done before.
What are your thoughts on the current state of 3D filmmaking?
The truth is that technology is moving so quickly that the high-end 2D [high-dynamic range] nearly makes 3D redundant. We shot and edited The Martian on 3D and it was pretty straightforward if you've got the right team, and [cinematographer] Dariusz Wolski is great. From my point of view, I can just have fun making 3D pictures. But now with 2D becoming so great, you really have to ask yourself if you need it.
Matt Damon is secluded for a big part of the film. Was there any method acting coming into play? Did you try to separate him from the rest of the crew?
Not at all; I never do that. I think it's very much a choice of the individual actor as to how they want to get the work done. Do they want to be miserable for 16 weeks or do they want to have fun?
Did Matt nail some of the film's big emotional scenes quickly or did he need a lot of takes to get to the heart of it?
He got it quick. I cast carefully. If I cast very well, the actors are going to help me on the day we shoot and I'm going to help them. It becomes a partnership. I don't do days and weeks of rehearsal. What I tend to do is when we walk on the floor, I literally shoot the first rehearsal and rehearse on camera. Because then you get the energy of coming in prepared but not rehearsed, and then you get a reality. If you over-rehearse it goes dead when you shoot, and you spend time getting back to what you found in rehearsals. I'm not unusual that way. Clint Eastwood does it, and so does Martin Scorsese.
It's a workmanlike approach. It's making sure you get things done as efficiently as possible.
Yes, and more actors like it than they care to admit. If it's well written, you don't have to rehearse. In this case we had a great script from a great book.
As a director you're not one to shy away from releasing directors' cuts. Did this version come out exactly the way you wanted it to?
Definitely. I never do the long versions for theaters. The one that goes out is the one I like.
By Daniel Garris
Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 grossed $1.97 million on Wednesday to lead the daily box office for a sixth straight day. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated sequel from Sony Pictures Animation was down a sharp 34 percent from Tuesday's performance. Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed a strong $55.75 million through six days of release. The film continues to outpace expectations and is running an impressive 16 percent ahead of the $48.05 million six-day start of 2012's Hotel Transylvania (which slid 30 percent on its first Wednesday to gross $1.54 million).
Warner's The Intern held steady in second place with $1.72 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway was down 29 percent from Tuesday, which represented a respectable daily hold given the strength of the film's performance on Tuesday. The Intern has grossed $23.37 million in six days. That is on the high end of pre-release expectations and places the film 11 percent ahead of the $21.03 million six-day gross of 2013's Last Vegas (which fell 26 percent on its first Wednesday to take in $1.42 million).
Fellow Warner Bros. release Black Mass was up one spot from Tuesday to move into third place on Wednesday with $1.13 million. The Johnny Depp led crime drama was down just 21 percent from Tuesday and down 43 percent from last Wednesday. Black Mass has grossed a solid $45.75 million in thirteen days, which places the film 10.5 percent ahead of the $41.39 million thirteen-day take of 2013's Prisoners.
Everest was down one spot and a very sharp 42 percent from Tuesday to land in fourth with $0.933 million. The 3D adventure drama from Universal took a clear hit from losing IMAX screens to The Walk on Wednesday. The thirteen-day total for Everest stands at a modest $26.92 million. In addition to losing its IMAX screens, Everest will also be facing new direct competition from Fox's highly anticipated The Martian beginning on Friday.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials took in $0.820 million to remain in fifth. The young adult sequel from Fox fell 33 percent from Tuesday and a sizable 53 percent from last Wednesday. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $54.87 million in thirteen days. That is below expectations and places the film 10 percent behind the $61.92 million thirteen-day gross of last year's The Maze Runner.
Meanwhile, Sony's The Walk was off to a slow start on Wednesday with an opening day take of just $240,379. The 3D Robert Zemeckis directed film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt is currently playing in 448 IMAX and PLF locations. That gave the film a lackluster per-location average of $537 for the day. The Walk will hope to see its strong critical reviews transfer into strong word of mouth going forward.
Lionsgate's Sicario was far more impressive with $195,161 on Wednesday from just 59 locations. That represented a slim 2 percent decline from Tuesday and gave Sicario a strong per-location average of $3,308 for the day. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin has grossed a very encouraging $2.87 million in thirteen days of platform release. Sicario expands into wide release on Friday.
Their official press release:
LOS ANGELES - September 30, 2015 - Matt Damon's sci-fi adventure epic, "The Martian," is far and away the leader of Fandango's weekend sales, while rocketing to the top of the company's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator with 90 out of 100 points. It's outselling 2013's space-based thriller, "Gravity" (also released on the first weekend of October) at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle.
"Building off its strong film festival buzz," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger, "Ridley Scott and Matt Damon's ‘The Martian' looks to follow the flight path of ‘Gravity' and ‘Interstellar' as space epics that soar to the box-office stratosphere."
According to a survey of more than 1,000 "The Martian" moviegoers on Fandango:
98% look forward to the film's unexpected sense of humor;
94% think films like "The Martian" can help promote interest in math and science among young people;
91% believe that space travel to Mars will be possible in the next twenty years.
87% are Matt Damon fans;
74% are fans of director Ridley Scott's work.
Additional moviegoer survey stats available upon request.
Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment. Fandango is the nation's leading digital destination for moviegoers and fans with more than 42 million unique visitors per month.*
*According to comScore.
By Daniel Garris
Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 led the daily box office for a fifth consecutive day on Tuesday after taking in $2.98 million for the day. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated sequel from Sony Pictures Animation was up 27 percent over Monday. Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed a strong $53.78 million through five days of release. The film is outpacing pre-release expectations and is running an impressive 16 percent ahead of the $46.51 million five-day start of 2012's Hotel Transylvania (which increased 22 percent on its first Tuesday to gross $2.19 million).
Warner's The Intern held steady in second with $2.41 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway increased a very strong 60 percent over Monday's performance. The Intern passed the $20 million mark yesterday and has grossed $21.65 million in five days. The film is performing towards the higher end of expectations and is running 10 percent ahead of the $19.62 million five-day start of 2013's Last Vegas (which increased 41 percent on its first Tuesday to take in $1.92 million).
Everest took in $1.61 million to remain in third place. The 3D adventure drama from Universal was up 46.5 percent over Monday and up 89 percent over last Tuesday. After a healthy start in exclusive IMAX and PLF release last week, Everest has failed to erupt in wide release this week. The twelve-day total for Everest stands at $25.99 million. Everest will hope to hold up well going forward with the help of strong word of mouth, but will also be facing major new competition from Fox's highly anticipated The Martian beginning on Friday.
Warner's Black Mass continued to claim fourth place with $1.44 million. The Johnny Depp led crime drama was up 38 percent over Monday and down 47 percent from last Tuesday. Black Mass continues to perform relatively stronger on weekdays than on weekends and has grossed a solid $44.62 million in twelve days. That places the film 10 percent ahead of the $40.52 million twelve-day take of 2013's Prisoners.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $1.22 million. The young adult sequel from Fox increased 39 percent from Monday and decreased 51 percent from last Tuesday. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $54.05 million in twelve days. That is below expectations and places the film 10 percent behind the $60.18 million twelve-day gross of last year's The Maze Runner.
On the platform front, Lionsgate's Sicario continued to impress with $199,896 on Tuesday from 59 locations. That gave Sicario a strong per-location average of $3,388 for the day. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin has grossed $2.67 million in twelve days of platform release. Sicario appears to be in good shape for its expansion into wide release this coming weekend.