Fox reports that The Martian claimed first place yet again on Wednesday with $1.25 million, off just 20.5 percent from last week. That gives the hit blockbuster film a domestic tally of $170.2 million as it continues to enjoy strong word of mouth deep into its theatrical run.
Bridge of Spies pulled $1.11 million in second place on Wednesday, down just 16.5 percent from last week. The well-received Spielberg-Hanks historical drama has taken in $36.1 million domestically.
Goosebumps added $0.696 million yesterday, down 26 percent from last Wednesday. The adaptation's domestic total stands at a healthy $46.2 million through 13 days of play.
The Last Witch Hunter grabbed $0.66 million yesterday in its sixth day of release, giving it a disappointing total of $13.2 million so far.
The nationwide expansion of Steve Jobs continues to leave something to be desired. The well-reviewed film earned $0.49 million on Wednesday, giving it an overall total so far of $11.5 million.
Meanwhile, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension grossed $0.43 million in its sixth day of release. The horror franchise finale has tallied an underwhelming $9.7 million at the box office as part of Paramount's experimental release strategy.
By Daniel Garris
Fox's The Martian took in $1.57 million on Tuesday to continue to lead the daily box office. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was up 30 percent over Monday and down just 25 percent from last Tuesday. The Martian has grossed an impressive $168.98 million in 26 days. The film is running 13.5 percent ahead of the $148.93 million last year's Interstellar grossed after 26 days of wide release and 17 percent behind the $203.00 million 26-day gross of 2013's Gravity.
Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies held steady in second with $1.42 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks was up a strong 44 percent over Monday and down a slim 23 percent from last Tuesday. Bridge of Spies has grossed a promising $34.99 million in twelve days. That places the film 20.5 percent behind the $44.02 million twelve-day gross of 2004's The Terminal.
The Last Witch Hunter took in $0.990 million to remain in third place. The Vin Diesel led action film from Lionsgate was up 27 percent over Monday. The Last Witch Hunter has grossed a softer than expected $12.58 million in five days. The film is currently running a disappointing 43 percent behind the $22.08 million five-day start of 2013's Riddick.
Goosebumps followed closely behind in fourth with $0.962 million. Sony's 3D horror comedy starring Jack Black increased 25 percent over Monday and decreased a very solid 34 percent from last Tuesday. Goosebumps has grossed $45.47 million in twelve days, which places the film a healthy 25 percent ahead of the $36.44 million twelve-day take of last year's Ouija.
Universal's Steve Jobs and Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension claimed fifth and sixth place with respective daily grosses of $0.673 million and $0.642 million. The two films were separated by just $31,438 for the day. Steve Jobs was up 26 percent over Monday, while The Ghost Dimension experienced a 20 percent daily increase. Both films are proving to be significant disappointments, as Steve Jobs has grossed a very soft $11.03 million in 19 days and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension has only managed $9.25 million in five days.
Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice
Eleven new local language pics and one imported film cram into the last weekend before "Hollywood's unofficial protection month" kicks off next Tuesday with the release of Everest. This weekend only three films - the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, a Chinese remake of the Korean film Blind, and auteur Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart - have the potential to break out of the pack and knock Ant-Man and Goodbye Mr. Loser out of the top 2 spots.
Sony Pictures' Hotel Transylvania 2 entered Chinese cinemas on Tuesday as a flat-fee film instead of the profit-sharing model used by most Big Six studio releases in China. Shanghai-based Fundamental Films, the distribution company behind this month's The Little Prince as well as the original Hotel Transylvania's China run in late 2013, takes the reins again. Hotel Transylvania 2 checked in with $1.3M in its debut on Tuesday, 26% ahead of its predecessor. We expect Hotel Transylvania 2 to steal away screens from fellow toons The Little Prince and Detective Conan and to crack the top five this weekend, ultimately surpassing Hotel Transylvania's $12.0 million total.
This weekend's widest release The Witness (我是证人) is a Chinese language remake of the 2011 Korean crime thriller Blind. Korean Ahn Sang-hoon returns to the director's chair and has enlisted A-List Mainland stars Lu Han (member of boy band EXO) and Yang Mi (Tiny Times) to bring out their substantial fan bases to a genre film that would otherwise have little mainstream appeal. This year however has proved that there is a growing audience for genre films buoyed by popular talent; September's crime drama The Dead End (烈日灼心) took in $47.9 million behind a trio of male stars. While we don't see The Witness succeeding on that level or having a lengthy stay, it will still give Ant-Man a run for its money this weekend.
Lastly, Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke returns to the Mainland with Mountains May Depart (山河故人), his first publicly released film in his home country in nine years. Jia has been a mainstay of the international film festival circuit for nearly two decades, creating thoughtful films that challenge viewers with long takes and surreal tableaus, and presenting sympathetic characters who struggle to find a foothold in a Chinese society always in flux.
Jia's previous film Touch of Sin (天注定) won accolades abroad, but irked sensors at home with its tales pulled from actual headlines of violence perpetrated by average citizens against corrupt officials. The film's release was cancelled at the last minute and never screened in public. Jia, heartbroken that his work couldn't be seen by the audience he always intended to make films for, contemplated stepping away from filmmaking, but instead moved forward with Mountains May Depart which is interestingly his most commercially accessible film to date.
Mountains' story is simple, but epic in scope, spanning 26 years and taking viewers from rural Shanxi province in the late 90s to a future Australia in 2025. It follows Tao, played by Jia's wife and muse Zhao Tao (赵涛), from her innocent youth caught between two potential suitors to her strained relationship with a son who's forgotten his native language after emigrating to Australia. Ultimately, Mountains May Depart feels like Jia's lament for a simpler period before the push for economic prosperity propelled China towards materialism and selfishness and away from grounded, human relationships.
Jia's themes seem to be in line with official Chinese rhetoric that is flush with anti-materialism messages as well as reminders that overseas Chinese should never forget the pull of their Motherland. And while readings of the film can go a few different ways, it's still not surprising why Mountains May Depart passed China's censorship board. Further illustrating how much the film is being embraced, Jia's Mountains will open on Friday as one of the widest ever arthouse releases on nearly 12% of China's screens and will also benefit from a 17-city nationwide advanced screening tour, several high-profile stories including a segment on CCTV's nightly news, and a theme song by pop star Chris Lee that will play during the credits. Whether this will translate into box office success for Jia and his film is still to be seen and certainly the outspoken director wouldn't care either way, but with his long-planned martial arts fantasy film in the works, Jia Zhangke certainly seems to be stepping closer and closer into the mainstream.
SPECTRE is off to a hot start in the UK, grossing $9.2 million on its first full day at the UK box office. The tally represents the biggest Tuesday of all time at the UK box office. In comparison, SPECTRE's first day grosses in the UK came in three times ahead of Skyfall's debut day figures in the same market. Skyfall finished its UK theatrical run with $166.3 million.
Ant-Man is expected to hit the $500 million global mark today, a major milestone for the summer Marvel release. The film has earned $179 million in North America and $319.5 million overseas, making it the fourth Disney release of the year to surpass $500 million worldwide. It is also the seventh consecutive and ninth overall Marvel Cinematic Universe title to hit the milestone. Ant-Man opened in China on October 16, securing the second biggest three-day opening weekend for a Disney or Marvel release in the market. It has grossed a total of $86.4 million to date in China.