'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, Apr. 22 - Sun, Apr. 24

Wide (1000+)

1Rio (2011)$26,323,321-33%3,84215$6,851$80,806,5622Fox
2Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$25,068,677--2,288--$10,957$25,068,6771Lionsgate
3Water for Elephants$16,842,353--2,817--$5,979$16,842,3531Fox
5Scream 4$7,030,747-62%3,3149$2,122$31,035,0102Weinstein Company
6African Cats$6,003,200--1,220--$4,921$6,003,2001Disneynature
7Soul Surfer$5,436,868-25%2,24026$2,427$28,502,1513Sony / TriStar
10Source Code$5,091,347-18%2,363-194$2,155$44,692,5914Summit
11Arthur (2011)$4,066,109-40%2,770-506$1,468$29,216,0913Warner Bros.
12Limitless$2,664,461-27%1,363-522$1,955$74,002,0556Relativity Media
13The Lincoln Lawyer$1,789,519-38%1,220-482$1,467$53,381,4516Lionsgate
14Your Highness$1,706,590-58%1,610-1162$1,060$19,764,5453Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

1The Conspirator$2,187,185-38%849142$2,576$6,889,8682Roadside Attractions
2Win Win$1,107,961-13%3884$2,856$6,630,6506Fox Searchlight
3Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$933,540-55%928-921$1,006$50,290,5315Fox
4Atlas Shrugged: Part 1$881,034-48%465166$1,895$3,096,8152Rocky Mountain
5Jane Eyre (2011)$737,177-26%31945$2,311$7,857,1767Focus
6Born to Be Wild 3D$656,3655%2081$3,156$3,078,8373Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Gnomeo and Juliet$335,177-18%345-10$972$98,331,18611Disney
9Dum Maaro Dum$327,523--101--$3,243$327,5231Fox Searchlight
10Sucker Punch$278,686-54%244-311$1,142$35,882,5545Warner Bros.
11The Adjustment Bureau$247,220-31%263-85$940$61,133,7708Universal
13Battle: Los Angeles$203,811-60%220-334$926$82,649,4157Sony / Columbia
14Just Go With It$198,416-27%265-61$749$102,602,51611Sony / Columbia
15The King's Speech$197,090-22%234-81$842$138,323,85222Weinstein Company
16Red Riding Hood$187,45248%30860$609$37,186,0137Warner Bros.
17I Am Number Four$184,693180%17999$1,032$54,374,34910Disney / DreamWorks
18Of Gods and Men$146,753-4%1035$1,425$3,227,3969Sony Pictures Classics
19Hall Pass$133,450-43%202-131$661$44,870,7309Warner Bros. / New Line
20Unknown (2011)$90,969-47%162-113$562$63,555,31410Warner Bros.
21Beastly$90,24129%13727$659$27,598,4678CBS Films
22Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$66,604279%166131$401$72,848,99811Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

1Potiche$150,341-4%65-3$2,313$863,0415Music Box Films
2Hubble 3D$148,36436%330$4,496$24,560,33558Warner Bros. / IMAX
3I Am (2011)$130,525523%2411$5,439$556,69510Paladin
4The Greatest Movie Ever Sold$118,924--18--$6,607$118,9241Sony Pictures Classics
5No Eres Tu, Soy Yo$116,136-53%89-100$1,305$1,204,2373Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Bill Cunningham New York$89,96715%3110$2,902$688,8806Zeitgeist Films
7Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$75,188-13%92-36$817$37,734,21410Fox
8In a Better World$72,8361%4111$1,776$292,0014Sony Pictures Classics
9Certified Copy$56,619-27%45-11$1,258$1,081,8337IFC Films
10Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$54,17115%110$4,925$2,295,189503D Entertainment
11Incendies$50,679--3--$16,893$50,6791Sony Pictures Classics
12Under the Sea 3D$49,49823%140$3,536$28,189,468115Warner Bros. / IMAX
13True Grit (2010)$48,942-53%80-97$612$171,031,34718Paramount
14Super$47,91525%3812$1,261$210,7214IFC Films
15Kill the Irishman$36,964-41%23-16$1,607$1,006,7027Anchor Bay Films
16The Princess of Montpensier$36,06854%118$3,279$72,9502IFC Films
17Meek's Cutoff$35,791154%64$5,965$87,8453Oscilloscope
18The Warring States$35,381--23--$1,538$35,3811China Lion Film
20Mars Needs Moms$30,737-25%78-21$394$20,844,3987Disney
21Winter in Wartime$30,53413%15-6$2,036$220,4276Sony Pictures Classics
22The Double Hour$29,979-1%20$14,990$76,9092IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
23Thank You$26,797-69%20-51$1,340$451,9233UTV Communications
24Cedar Rapids$24,691-36%36-11$686$6,773,65111Fox Searchlight
25When Harry Tries to Marry$23,790--4--$5,948$23,7901108 Pics
26Miral$20,289-40%20-6$1,014$345,3985Weinstein Company
27The Salvation Poem$19,439-74%13-8$1,495$836,96828CanZion Films
28Barney's Version$17,116-43%24-26$713$7,431,43315Sony Pictures Classics
29American: The Bill Hicks Story$16,44136%116$1,495$46,2043Variance Films
30Biutiful$13,833-39%21-11$659$5,039,75617Roadside Attractions
31Beautiful Darling$13,400--1--$13,400$13,4001Corinth Films
32Queen to Play$12,622-5%6-3$2,104$112,6704Zeitgeist Films
33Even the Rain (Tambien la lluvia)$12,45871%101$1,246$518,01710Vitagraph
34Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen$11,365--4--$2,841$11,3651Variance Films
35Henry's Crime$10,550-43%5-2$2,110$49,3893Moving Pictures Film & Television
36Nostalgia for the Light$10,483--2--$5,242$75,8646Icarus Films
37Diary of a Country Priest (2011 re-issue)$10,464--2--$5,232$46,9799Rialto
38Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$9,525361%109$953$111,12632Collective Eye
39Deep Sea 3D$9,00422%20$4,502$44,197,055269Warner Bros. / IMAX
40My Perestroika$8,796-37%50$1,759$106,9325International Film Circuit
41The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte)$8,373-44%50$1,675$80,3824Lorber Films
42The Company Men$8,048-47%15-5$537$4,401,61014Weinstein Company
43The Last Lions$7,683-37%59-2$130$625,01210National Geographic
44Stake Land$7,258--1--$7,258$7,2581IFC Films
45Circo$6,80667%42$1,702$28,4094First Run Features
46Carancho$6,47170%3-1$2,157$74,46811Strand Releasing
47Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives$5,8699%63$978$146,8868Strand Releasing
48Poetry$5,788-45%10-3$579$288,10611Kino International
49Black Swan$5,561-72%20-29$278$106,948,14321Fox Searchlight
50The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest$5,107--3--$1,702$850,27338National Geographic
51Blank City$4,806-48%10$4,806$56,7653Insurgent Releasing
52The Illusionist (2010)$4,662-23%12-4$389$2,218,44318Sony Pictures Classics
53The Cremaster Cycle (2010 re-issue)$4,010--1--$4,010$150,02955International Film Circuit
54Another Year$3,833-34%6-7$639$3,199,00717Sony Pictures Classics
55Dumbstruck$3,610268%21$1,805$4,7782Truly Indie
56A Screaming Man (Un Homme qui crie)$3,27235%10$3,272$8,1072Film Movement
58Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$3,112--2--$1,556$23,590,069186National Geographic
59Zokkomon$2,815--24--$117$2,8151UTV Communications
60Ceremony$2,661-5%41$665$15,4623Magnolia Pictures
61Inside Job$2,46613%84$308$4,309,59629Sony Pictures Classics
62Rubber$2,450-70%80$306$51,5874Magnolia / Magnet
63I Saw the Devil$2,058-52%3-4$686$128,3928Magnolia / Magnet
64The Music Never Stopped$2,029-68%6-7$338$233,3556Roadside Attractions
65Putty Hill$1,807100%32$602$45,84310Cinema Guild
66Armadillo$1,630-59%10$1,630$7,8822Lorber Films
67Making The Boys$1,410--1--$1,410$19,5807First Run Features
68Meet Monica Velour$1,006-77%1-3$1,006$18,4863Anchor Bay Films
69The Human Resources Manager$1,003-51%2-1$502$54,3708Film Movement
70Kings of Pastry$979--1--$979$329,40532First Run
71Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune$897-62%1-4$897$233,10416First Run Features
72The Strange Case of Angelica$80464%10$804$44,69317Cinema Guild
73Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula$650--1--$650$24,1117Indican Pictures
74A Somewhat Gentle Man$647--2--$324$35,58315Strand Releasing
75happythankyoumoreplease$584-80%2-2$292$215,5768Anchor Bay Films
76Into Eternity$446--3--$149$31,97912International Film Circuit
77The Trouble with Terkel$250--1--$250$35,53157Indican
78Orgasm Inc.$155-69%10$155$45,47311First Run Features
79Korkoro$142-32%10$142$3,8125Lorber Films
80Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster$139-89%1-1$139$202,94713Variance Films
81Nenette$123--1--$123$18,00918Kino International
82Desert Flower$102-87%1-1$102$44,2826National Geographic