'The Martian' Scores Second Largest October Debut Ever with $54.3M Launch; 'Hotel Transylvania 2' a Strong Second with $33.2M; 'Sicario' Solid with $12.1M ExpansionOctober 05, 2015 01:24 PM

by Daniel Garris

Fox's The Martian arrived with a strong first place debut of $54.31 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 3 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 14 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 $18.15 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.5 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a strong 23 percent on Saturday to gross $22.25 million and is declined 37.5 percent on Sunday to take in $13.91 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a promising 2.99 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 a second place take of $33.19 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 $90.73 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 a third place take of $12.15 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 8 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 $4.67 million and declined 32 percent on Sunday to gross $3.18 million. That gave the film a weekend to Friday ratio of 2.83 to 1. Sicario received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Warner's The Intern held up nicely in its second weekend with a fourth place take of $11.69 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 $36.59 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 $7.80 million. The young adult sequel from Fox fell 45 percent, as the film continues to understandably display more front-loading than its predecessor did last year. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $63.40 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 $1.56 million from 448 exclusive IMAX and PLF locations. That gave The Walk a per-location average of just $3,483 for the frame. The Walk has grossed $1.98 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, Feb. 11 - Sun, Feb. 13

Wide (1000+)

1Just Go With It$30,514,732--3,548--$8,601$30,514,7321Sony / Columbia
2Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$29,514,054--3,105--$9,505$30,256,6011Paramount
3Gnomeo and Juliet$25,356,909--2,994--$8,469$25,356,9091Disney
4The Eagle$8,684,464--2,296--$3,782$8,684,4641Focus
5The Roommate$8,126,025-46%2,5340$3,207$25,778,9262Sony / Screen Gems
6The King's Speech$7,230,790-6%2,263-321$3,195$93,675,76112Weinstein Company
7No Strings Attached$5,810,291-27%2,756-294$2,108$60,031,0784Paramount
9True Grit (2010)$3,785,344-18%2,072-830$1,827$160,355,0298Paramount
10The Green Hornet$3,673,909-38%2,090-943$1,758$92,405,9615Sony / Columbia
11The Rite$3,252,360-42%2,207-778$1,474$28,858,2973Warner Bros. / New Line
12The Mechanic$3,202,921-40%1,886-818$1,698$25,418,6533CBS Films
13The Fighter$2,165,480-24%1,049-613$2,064$85,632,02410Paramount
14Black Swan$2,122,555-37%1,069-908$1,986$99,337,22011Fox Searchlight
15The Dilemma$1,031,015-69%1,242-1303$830$47,635,6955Universal
16Yogi Bear$770,038-66%1,111-696$693$96,618,2799Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

2Blue Valentine (2010)$585,508-26%393-57$1,490$8,211,6107Weinstein Company
3Biutiful$580,245-10%19112$3,038$2,263,3417Roadside Attractions
4127 Hours$559,094-59%359-540$1,557$16,845,89615Fox Searchlight
5TRON: Legacy$554,476-59%364-676$1,523$169,753,8329Disney
6The Company Men$518,025-6%27746$1,870$3,032,0704Weinstein Company
7Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$465,15225%40944$1,137$293,355,40813Warner Bros.
8Barney's Version$436,4773%110-10$3,968$3,525,8075Sony Pictures Classics
9Little Fockers$345,510-72%424-931$815$147,233,4908Universal
10Another Year$330,719-25%174-62$1,901$2,155,9477Sony Pictures Classics
11Megamind$324,094-15%252-38$1,286$147,878,98615Paramount / DreamWorks
12From Prada to Nada$311,977-58%252-9$1,238$2,588,9263Lionsgate / Pantelion
13The Illusionist (2010)$303,52363%206138$1,473$1,137,5498Sony Pictures Classics
14The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$287,505-46%293-221$981$102,981,05110Fox
15Gulliver's Travels (2010)$213,365-55%308-187$693$41,914,6078Fox
16Country Strong$167,348-73%328-620$510$20,218,9218Sony / Screen Gems
17The Social Network$134,791-45%178-116$757$96,619,12420Sony / Columbia
18Unstoppable (2010)$109,978-14%147-55$748$81,356,49614Fox
19Season of the Witch$94,222-67%176-316$535$24,444,9976Relativity Media
20Rabbit Hole$86,217-30%112-19$770$1,875,9369Lionsgate
21The Tourist$79,740-50%100-131$797$67,000,10210Sony / Columbia

Platform (1 — 99)

1Cedar Rapids$302,968--15--$20,198$302,9681Fox Searchlight
2Academy Award-Nominated Short Films (2011)$300,706--95--$3,165$300,7061Shorts International
3Hubble 3D$153,68227%533$2,900$21,656,91448Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Under the Sea 3D$56,53929%160$3,534$27,053,597105Warner Bros. / IMAX
5The Way Back$39,078-72%37-108$1,056$2,637,8814Newmarket Films
6Somewhere (2010)$35,931-40%32-14$1,123$1,668,5938Focus
7Inside Job$26,861-31%29-50$926$3,932,97619Sony Pictures Classics
8Fair Game (2010)$24,824-53%78-71$318$9,528,09215Summit
9Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster$21,340-32%13-8$1,642$149,6773Variance Films
10Space Station 3D$20,87633%4-1$5,219$82,732,160461IMAX
11What Women Want (2011)$20,833--21--$992$96,2422China Lion Film
12Winter's Bone$19,256-49%26-8$741$6,394,65636Roadside Attractions
13Poetry$18,900--3--$6,300$18,9001Kino International
14Made in Dagenham$18,3084%29-12$631$997,73513Sony Pictures Classics
15Carancho$15,810--5--$3,162$15,8101Strand Releasing
16Casino Jack$15,058-60%15-24$1,004$932,8769IDP/ATO Pictures
17The Salvation Poem$13,742-62%40$3,436$581,60418CanZion Films
18Love and Other Drugs$13,718-48%25-21$549$32,357,53212Fox
19Vidal Sassoon: The Movie$13,053--1--$13,053$13,0531Phase 4 Films
20Cold Weather$13,039-10%21$6,520$32,3732IFC Films
21I Love You Phillip Morris$9,387-49%23-16$408$1,936,21711Roadside Attractions
22Deep Sea 3D$8,80271%41$2,201$44,015,684259Warner Bros. / IMAX
23Orgasm Inc.$8,773--1--$8,773$8,7731First Run Features
25Certifiably Jonathan$7,826--1--$7,826$7,8261Area23a
26Waiting for Forever$7,374-17%1411$527$20,9752Freestyle
27Kaboom$6,991-57%53$1,398$47,5553IFC Films
28Get Low$6,469-60%19-41$340$9,171,77729Sony Pictures Classics
29Waste Land$6,466-14%62$1,078$142,98116Arthouse Films
30Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen$5,980-42%4-1$1,495$404,76618Zeitgeist Films
31Tiny Furniture$4,965-20%8-4$621$383,54914IFC
32The Housemaid (Hanyo)$4,929-70%6-4$822$70,6794IFC Films
33Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!$4,500-47%20$2,250$82,5828Saint Juste International
34All Good Things$4,202-60%4-11$1,051$532,06611Magnolia Pictures
35Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$4,1283%20$2,064$23,522,257176National Geographic
36Into Eternity$3,98613%10$3,986$10,8182International Film Circuit
37Dogtooth (Kynodontas)$3,589-4%52$718$102,58534Kino International
39Come Undone (2010)$2,664--2--$1,332$8,86711Film Movement
40The Time That Remains$2,593-36%20$1,297$29,0506IFC
41The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest$2,503-66%6-7$417$5,186,97416Music Box
42Every Day$2,477-45%20$1,239$27,5835Image Entertainment
43Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench$2,381718%32$794$27,44515Variance Films
44My Dog Tulip$2,189-36%1-2$2,189$204,17024New Yorker Films
45What If...$2,184-72%2-3$1,092$811,65826Five & Two Pictures
46Bhutto$2,119-24%1-2$2,119$83,23111First Run Features
47Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)$1,989-93%5-37$398$576,6394UTV Communications
48Marwencol$1,8659%20$933$94,66119Cinema Guild
49The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest$1,7230%20$862$713,66028National Geographic
50Animal Kingdom$1,706-55%2-2$853$1,040,03227Sony Pictures Classics
51When We Leave (Die Fremde)$1,440-51%1-1$1,440$14,1283Olive Films
52The Strange Case of Angelica$1,35861%10$1,358$34,9327Cinema Guild
53Four Lions$1,301-42%3-3$434$301,52715Drafthouse Films
54The Little Traitor$1,257--1--$1,257$388,43362Westchester Films
55Battleship Potemkin (2011 re-issue)$1,1941709%10$1,194$16,9825Kino International
56The Woodmans$1,06876%21$534$29,5764Lorber Films
57Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune$965-83%1-2$965$83,9276First Run Features
58Kings of Pastry$926-42%1-1$926$308,93522First Run
59Enemies of the People$88833%20$444$61,86429International Film Circuit
60Night Catches Us$804-83%2-1$402$73,85711Magnolia
61The Other Woman (2011)$696-89%20$348$9,9072IFC
62The Tempest$613-71%3-2$204$276,20010Disney
63Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields$56214%10$562$64,96416Variance Films
64If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle$513--1--$513$12,1356Film Movement
65Tamara Drewe$489-78%2-1$245$558,77919Sony Pictures Classics
66How I Ended This Summer$434-91%10$434$8,1092Film Movement
67Mesrine: Killer Instinct$354-61%10$354$550,87025Music Box
68Mesrine: Public Enemy #1$34030%1-1$340$275,12524Music Box
69A Somewhat Gentle Man$196-77%10$196$9,1675Strand Releasing
70Nenette$184-86%1-1$184$14,0628Kino International
71To the Sea$178--1--$178$61,61331Film Movement
72Feed the Fish$125--1--$125$101,16013Strand