By Daniel Garris
It was a fairly close race for first place at the box office this weekend, with Sony's Goosebumps outpacing the third weekend performance of Fox's The Martian. Goosebumps led the way with a $23.62 million debut. The 3D horror comedy starring Jack Black opened towards the lower end of expectations and was off to a solid start with its reported $58 million production budget in mind. Goosebumps was no doubt helped out by the pre-existing fanbase for the R.L. Stine written book series and by the decision to release the film shortly before the Halloween holiday. The film opened 19 percent ahead of the $19.88 million debut of last year's Ouija and 7 percent behind the recent $25.43 million start of The Visit. Given its family audience and the approaching Halloween holiday, Goosebumps is highly likely to hold up better going forward than both of those films did.
Goosebumps opened with $7.35 million on Friday (which included an estimated $600,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased 33 percent on Saturday to take in $9.77 million and is declined 33 percent on Sunday to gross $6.51 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.22 to 1, which does indicate that the film experienced some relative front-loading for a family film this weekend. Goosebumps received an excellent A rating on CinemaScore, which is a positive sign for the film going forward. The audience breakdown for Goosebumps was evenly split between male and female moviegoers and skewed towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (59 percent).
After comfortably leading the box office for the previous two weeks, The Martian fell to second place this weekend with $21.30 million. The critically acclaimed Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down 42 percent from last weekend. While The Martian lost a bit of steam this weekend, the film is still performing very well in the bigger picture with a 17-day gross of $143.60 million. That places The Martian 19 percent ahead of the $120.93 million last year's Interstellar had grossed after 17 days of wide release and 15 percent behind the $169.56 million 17-day take of 2013's Gravity. Both comparisons suggest that The Martian is still in good shape to surpass the $200 million domestic mark before the end of its run.
Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies debuted in third place this weekend with $15.37 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks debuted on the low end of its relatively modest expectations, which had been held in check by the film's Cold War setting and by the current high level of overall competition for adult audiences. Bridge of Spies opened 19 percent below the $19.05 million start of 2004's The Terminal, which represented the last theatrical collaboration between Spielberg and Hanks. Given its strong critical reviews and that Spielberg's films usually display strong holding power; it is likely that Bridge of Spies will be in store for a lengthy box office run.
Bridge of Spies started out with $5.37 million on Friday (which included an estimated Thursday night take of just $500,000), increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $6.19 million and decreased 38 percent on Sunday to gross $3.82 million. That gave Bridge of Spies an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. Like Goosebumps, Bridge of Spies also received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Bridge of Spies skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (53 percent) and extremely heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (89 percent).
Universal's Crimson Peak followed in fourth place with a lackluster $13.14 million start. The Guillermo del Toro directed gothic horror romance starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston debuted a bit below expectations. While Crimson Peak opened within shouting distance of Bridge of Spies this weekend, Crimson Peak is expected to be more front-loaded in comparison to Bridge of Spies and also carried a higher price tag. Potential for Crimson Peak to appeal towards horror fans and del Toro's fanbase appears to have ultimately been limited by the film's gothic nature. Crimson Peak opened 23 percent below the $17.01 million debut of last year's The Book of Life (which was produced by del Toro).
Crimson Peak opened with $5.25 million on Friday (which included a significant $855,000 from Thursday evening shows), declined 6 percent on Saturday to gross $4.92 million and fell 40 percent on Sunday to take in $2.97 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a front-loaded 2.50 to 1. Crimson Peak received a modest B- rating on CinemaScore. That doesn't suggest that Crimson Peak will hold up especially well going forward, though the film could still experience some relative back-loading given its pre-Halloween release and the lack of an opening weekend rush out. The audience breakdown for Crimson Peak skewed towards female moviegoers (60 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and older (55 percent). IMAX grosses were responsible for an estimated $2.3 million of the film's overall gross this weekend.
Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $12.65 million. Sony's Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film was down 38 percent from last weekend. That represented a very solid weekend hold, especially given the new direct competition for family audiences the film faced from fellow Sony release Goosebumps. Hotel Transylvania 2 continues to impress with $136.81 million through 24 days of release. That places the film a healthy 15 percent ahead of the $118.52 million 24-day gross of 2012's Hotel Transylvania.
Meanwhile, Woodlawn debuted in ninth place with $4.00 million. The faith-based sports drama from Pure Flix opened on the high end of its modest expectations. Woodlawn opened 11 percent ahead of the $3.59 million start of Do You Believe? earlier this year. While it was off to a solid start, Woodlawn was also relatively front-loaded this weekend. The film opened with $1.49 million on Friday, declined 9 percent on Saturday to gross $1.35 million and fell 14 percent on Sunday to gross $1.16 million; which gave Woodlawn an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.69 to 1. Despite the initial front-loading, Woodlawn will still have a very good chance of holding up well going forward, especially after receiving an A+ rating on CinemaScore.
Universal's Steve Jobs continued its strong platform performance with $1.51 million from 60 locations. That gave the Danny Boyle directed drama starring Michael Fassbender a per-location average of $25,212 for the frame. Steve Jobs has grossed a very encouraging $2.22 million through ten days of platform release. The film will expand into wide release this coming Friday when it will be playing in an estimated 2,400 locations.