'The Martian' Scores Second Largest October Debut Ever with $55.0M Launch; 'Hotel Transylvania 2' a Strong Second with $33.0M; 'Sicario' Solid with $12.1M ExpansionOctober 04, 2015 09:31 AM

by Daniel Garris

Fox's The Martian arrived with a strong estimated first place debut of $55.0 million this weekend. The critically acclaimed Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon lived up to its already lofty expectations and claimed the second largest opening weekend performance ever for the month of October. The Martian opened just 1 percent below the $55.79 million debut of October record holder Gravity back in 2013. The comparison is especially impressive given that The Martian didn't have the advantage of higher priced IMAX admissions that Gravity had. The Martian opened 16 percent ahead of the $47.51 million debut of last year's Interstellar (which also had the advantage of higher priced IMAX admissions). An effective advertising campaign, strong critical reviews, the combined drawing power of Scott and Damon and the pre-established fanbase for the novel the film is based on all contributed to the success of The Martian this weekend.

The Martian opened with $18.13 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.5 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a strong 23 percent on Saturday to gross $22.28 million and is estimated to decline 34.5 percent on Sunday to take in $14.6 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a very promising 3.03 to 1. The Martian received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over just as well with moviegoers as it has with critics. Given both its strong critical reviews and strong early word of mouth, it is highly likely that The Martian will hold up very well throughout the month of October.

Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 continued to impress with an estimated second place take of $33.0 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film from Sony Pictures Animation held up very nicely this weekend, as it was down just 32 percent from last weekend's already stronger than expected launch. In comparison, 2012's Hotel Transylvania fell 36 percent in its second weekend to gross $27.05 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed $90.54 million through ten days of release. That places the film an impressive 18 percent ahead of the $76.71 million ten-day start of Hotel Transylvania and represents a very nice rebound for both Sandler and Sony from the lackluster performance of Pixels this summer. While it will soon face new competition for family audiences from both Warner's Pan and fellow Sony release Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania 2 still has a very good chance of continuing to hold up well throughout the month of October, especially with the aid of the approaching Halloween holiday and no new animated films entering the marketplace until Fox's The Peanuts Movie arrives on November 6th.

On the heels of its impressive two-week performance in platform release, Lionsgate's Sicario had a very solid expansion into wide release with an estimated third place take of $12.08 million. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin performed in line with expectations. Thanks in part to strong critical reviews and the buzz generated from the film's platform performance; Sicario was able to hold its own in the face of The Martian this weekend. This weekend's performance for Sicario was only 9 percent below the $13.24 million expansion performance of Universal's Everest last weekend. Going forward, Sicario is likely to hold up better than Everest has.

Sicario grossed $4.29 million on Friday, increased 9 percent on Saturday to take in $4.66 million and is estimated to decline 33 percent on Sunday to gross $3.13 million. That gives the film an estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 2.81 to 1. Sicario received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Warner's The Intern held up nicely in its second weekend with an estimated fourth place take of $12.08 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway was down 34 percent from last weekend. In a fall moviegoing season filled with more serious fare thus far, The Intern is appealing to moviegoers in the mood for a comedy and has taken in $36.52 million in ten days. The film is running 9 percent ahead of the $33.47 million ten-day take of 2013's Last Vegas (which fell 32 percent in its second weekend to gross $11.04 million). Expect The Intern to continue to display healthy holding power going forward.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $7.65 million. The young adult sequel from Fox fell 46 percent, as the film continues to understandably display more front-loading than its predecessor did last year. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $63.24 million in 17 days. That is below expectations and places the film 14 percent behind the $73.56 million 17-day gross of The Maze Runner.

Meanwhile, Sony's The Walk was off to a soft start this weekend in moderate release. The critically acclaimed 3D Robert Zemeckis directed film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt only managed an estimated $1.55 million from 448 exclusive IMAX and PLF locations. That gave The Walk a per-location average of just $3,460 for the frame. The Walk has grossed $1.97 million through five days of release. Despite strong critical reviews, The Walk is clearly feeling the negative effects of facing very tough competition and not having the most mainstream friendly concept to begin with. The Walk will hope to build momentum off of its strong critical reviews when it goes into wide release next weekend, but that will be easier said than done after this weekend's performance.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, May. 14 - Sun, May. 16

Wide (1000+)

1Iron Man 2$52,041,005-59%4,39010$11,854$211,200,8762Paramount
2Robin Hood$36,063,000--3,503--$10,295$36,063,0001Universal
3Letters to Juliet$13,540,486--2,968--$4,562$13,540,4861Summit
4Just Wright$8,284,989--1,831--$4,525$8,284,9891Fox Searchlight
5How to Train Your Dragon$5,003,536-25%2,620-1760$1,910$207,647,6968Paramount / DreamWorks
6A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)$4,657,000-49%3,075-257$1,514$56,067,0003Warner Bros. / New Line
7Date Night$3,823,515-30%2,481-253$1,541$86,522,6226Fox
8The Back-up Plan$2,387,480-53%2,497-506$956$34,124,7824CBS Films
9Furry Vengeance$2,242,106-50%2,695-307$832$15,089,0703Summit
10Clash of the Titans (2010)$1,231,000-51%1,300-857$947$160,128,0007Warner Bros.
11Death at a Funeral (2010)$1,138,148-51%1,062-644$1,072$40,495,9645Sony / Screen Gems

Limited (100 — 999)

3The Last Song$544,414-54%802-501$679$61,240,3887Disney
5The Losers$459,000-75%701-1749$655$22,761,0004Warner Bros.
6City Island$442,158-27%2536$1,748$3,608,5609Anchor Bay
7Alice in Wonderland (2010)$440,202-38%403-179$1,092$331,533,91511Disney
8Diary of a Wimpy Kid$386,876-14%468-157$827$61,978,6949Fox
9The Secret in Their Eyes (2010)$368,338-4%10399$3,576$2,092,1995Sony Pictures Classics
11The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)$327,304-33%178-9$1,839$5,764,3319Music Box
12Hot Tub Time Machine$306,000-42%458-344$668$49,185,0008MGM
13Shutter Island$292,3678%310121$943$127,213,67013Paramount
14She's Out of My League$245,602-6%206-55$1,192$31,584,72210Paramount
15The Bounty Hunter$218,252-45%293-169$745$65,037,8169Sony / Columbia
16Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?$172,303-61%281-123$613$59,681,3857Lionsgate
17Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief$123,170-9%209-12$589$88,354,45014Fox
18The Ghost Writer$116,995-51%150-81$780$15,084,11413Summit
19The Tooth Fairy$82,575-30%132-28$626$59,828,42717Fox
20Our Family Wedding$62,775-20%103-16$609$20,092,23910Fox Searchlight
21The Crazies$57,042-15%111-38$514$39,103,37812Overture

Platform (1 — 99)

1Hubble 3D$323,00011%480$6,729$5,743,0009Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Please Give$248,1723%4923$5,065$735,4673Sony Pictures Classics
3Exit Through the Gift Shop$215,33412%4514$4,785$1,269,7865Producers Distribution Agency
4Princess Kaiulani$186,980--33--$5,666$186,9801Roadside Attractions
5Harry Brown$135,732-6%6017$2,262$590,8893Samuel Goldwyn
6Mother and Child$60,76941%2420$2,532$119,6162Sony Pictures Classics
7La Mission$56,000-21%36-5$1,556$707,0006Screen Media
9Under the Sea 3D$37,000-18%184$2,056$21,979,00066Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Metropolis (1927) (2010 re-issue)$30,79754%42$7,699$65,4662Kino International
11The Joneses$26,543-51%56-12$474$1,400,4865Roadside Attractions
12The Human Centipede (First Sequence)$26,100-30%181$1,450$88,4663IFC
13Letters to God$26,000-56%75-37$347$2,794,0006Vivendi
14Cop Out$24,000-44%53-38$453$44,867,00012Warner Bros.
15The Secret of Kells$23,87942%264$918$460,92611GKIDS
16Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto)$22,863-45%20-2$1,143$389,1819Zeitgeist
17The Runaways$20,232-41%49-16$413$3,528,4549Apparition
18Crazy Heart$18,882-49%50-25$378$39,436,62322Fox Searchlight
19Chloe$18,774-60%29-24$647$2,965,2898Sony Pictures Classics
20Broken Embraces$18,560-22%20-12$928$4,991,84726Sony Classics
21Casino Jack and the United States of Money$18,317-35%112$1,665$58,3562Magnolia
22Brooklyn's Finest$15,572-50%64-49$243$27,154,42611Overture
23A Prophet (Un proph├Ęte)$15,437-17%3322$468$2,029,66112Sony Classics
24The Good, the Bad, the Weird$14,962-3%155$997$71,0836IFC
25The Square (2010)$14,923-40%14-3$1,066$242,4526Apparition
26Deep Sea 3D$10,649-3%2-1$5,325$43,268,612220Warner Bros. / IMAX
28Ajami$8,67812%133$668$580,45335Kino International
29Daddy Longlegs$8,323--1--$8,323$8,3231Sundance Selects
30The Last Station$8,196-46%18-16$455$6,585,85318Sony Pictures Classics
31Best Worst Movie$8,171--1--$8,171$18,6044Area23a
32The Art of the Steal (2010)$8,010-33%17--$471$529,08312IFC Films
33OSS 117: Lost in Rio$7,984-20%41$1,996$23,46157Music Box
34Deadfall Trail$7,430--3--$2,477$7,4301Nocturnal Features
35No One Knows About Persian Cats$7,03950%6-1$1,173$54,7875IFC
36North Face (Nordwand)$6,974-42%11-13$634$697,20916Music Box Films
37Looking for Eric$6,743--2--$3,372$6,7431IFC
38Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo$6,400--1--$6,400$10,0001Argot Pictures
39Here and There (Tamo i Ovde)$6,352--1--$6,352$6,3521Cinema Purgatorio
40Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$6,2454%60$1,041$23,159,682137National Geographic
41The Little Traitor$5,481-28%3-1$1,827$308,14923Westchester Films
42The Eclipse$5,229-18%71$747$110,2008Magnolia
43When You're Strange$5,032195%3-2$1,677$219,0316Abramorama
44Everyone Else$4,926212%43$1,232$48,34748Cinema Guild
45Madeo (Mother)$4,443-59%13-7$342$506,23951Magnolia
46Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel$3,900-30%15-11$260$219,613,00021Fox
47The Living Wake$3,821--1--$3,821$3,8211Mangusta Productions
48Sweetgrass$3,586-20%4-2$897$148,92434Cinema Guild
49The Yellow Handkerchief$3,229-55%102$323$317,04012Samuel Goldwyn Films
50The Girl on the Train (2010)$3,026-27%50$605$195,28117Strand Releasing
51Killing Kasztner$2,85919%20$1,430$112,31330Sky Island Films
52The Good Heart$2,6914%62$449$16,3253Magnolia
53Happiness Runs$2,6870%21$1,344$6,0512Strand
54Multiple Sarcasms$2,603-84%6-9$434$25,7782New Films International
55The Oath$2,485-57%10$2,485$11,9192Zeitgeist
56The Blind Side$2,400-76%11-14$218$255,950,00026Warner Bros.
57Terribly Happy$2,200-34%3-2$733$160,38215Oscilloscope
58The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus$1,588-47%6-1$265$7,686,81821Sony Pictures Classics
59Breaking Upwards$1,492-50%1--$1,492$76,3827IFC
60In/Significant Others$1,408--1--$1,408$1,4081Fourth Ward Productions
61The White Ribbon$1,389-43%3-4$463$2,219,13920Sony Classics
62U2 3D$1,294--1--$1,294$10,322,763121National Geographic
63Bluebeard (Barbe Bleue)$671-49%2-1$336$32,36332Strand
64A Town Called Panic$548-84%2-1$274$156,43322Zeitgeist Films
6535 Shots of Rum$543--1--$543$176,38435Cinema Guild
66October Country$254-84%1412$18$21,32214International Film Circuit
67The Warlords$196-94%1-5$196$128,9787Magnet Magnolia
68In My Sleep$114--1--$114$24,9304Morning Star