'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, Sep. 23 - Sun, Sep. 25

Wide (1000+)

1The Lion King 3D$21,929,332-27%2,3300$9,412$61,475,4022Disney
2Moneyball$19,501,302--2,993--$6,516$19,501,3021Sony / Columbia
3Dolphin Tale$19,152,401--3,507--$5,461$19,152,4011Warner Bros.
5Killer Elite$9,352,008--2,986--$3,132$9,352,0081Open Road
6Contagion$8,451,226-42%3,136-86$2,695$57,007,8983Warner Bros.
7Drive (2011)$5,763,998-49%2,90418$1,985$21,417,3732FilmDistrict
8The Help$4,370,051-33%2,695-319$1,622$154,414,1537Disney / DreamWorks
9Straw Dogs (2011)$2,051,333-60%2,4080$852$8,835,1872Sony / Screen Gems
10I Don't Know How She Does It$2,002,040-55%2,49014$804$7,968,4652Weinstein Company
11The Debt$1,260,611-57%1,067-764$1,181$28,967,0744Focus
12Rise of the Planet of the Apes$1,162,288-56%1,178-1162$987$173,600,8118Fox
13Warrior (2011)$1,119,835-61%1,411-472$794$12,210,1263Lionsgate
14Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$718,442-55%1,207-443$595$37,026,8806Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

1Laugh at My Pain$1,135,157-5%28757$3,955$5,165,6403CodeBlack Entertainment
2Colombiana$934,728-60%847-1086$1,104$35,120,1715Sony / TriStar
3Crazy, Stupid, Love$783,376-50%675-470$1,161$82,068,9269Warner Bros.
4The Smurfs$541,836-56%669-750$810$138,353,8929Sony / Columbia
5Shark Night 3D$466,801-74%637-1445$733$18,223,2384Relativity Media
6Transformers: Dark of the Moon$401,086-15%251-55$1,598$351,902,62513Paramount / DreamWorks
7Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$387,448-45%320-281$1,211$378,824,31611Warner Bros.
8Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$353,762-69%424-910$834$23,477,2835FilmDistrict
9Zookeeper$310,790-17%294-54$1,057$79,630,11212Sony / Columbia
10Captain America: The First Avenger$302,029-46%334-206$904$174,792,96210Paramount
11Cowboys & Aliens$277,750-48%345-269$805$99,276,2669Universal
12Horrible Bosses$266,884-40%313-131$853$116,943,65512Warner Bros. / New Line
13Our Idiot Brother$252,998-80%411-1336$616$24,438,3845Weinstein Company
14The Guard$249,325-27%167-35$1,493$4,165,1549Sony Pictures Classics
15Seven Days in Utopia$236,004-58%272-165$868$4,019,8194Visio Entertainment
16Midnight in Paris$222,430-35%165-136$1,348$54,432,21119Sony Pictures Classics
17Apollo 18$187,526-83%339-1456$553$17,384,9064Weinstein Company
18Final Destination 5$169,647-20%254-48$668$42,380,5577Warner Bros. / New Line
19Bad Teacher$160,977-51%232-242$694$99,685,14314Sony / Columbia
20Sarah's Key$132,564-50%151-115$878$6,592,74710Weinstein Company
21Mr. Popper's Penguins$109,085-33%153-60$713$68,038,54015Fox
22The Change-Up$105,610-54%169-138$625$37,035,8458Universal
23Kung Fu Panda 2$78,563-19%113-29$695$165,230,26118Paramount / DreamWorks
25Super 8$73,350-21%117-42$627$126,975,16916Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

1Mausam$459,024--96--$4,782$459,0241Eros International
2Born to Be Wild 3D$115,78310%490$2,363$13,006,06425Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Pearl Jam Twenty$102,448--10--$10,245$382,7911Abramorama
4Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$82,58658%4829$1,721$266,8944Indomina Media
530 Minutes or Less$72,977-67%95-196$768$37,053,9247Sony / Columbia
6Higher Ground$70,134-37%64-17$1,096$577,2215Sony Pictures Classics
7Hubble 3D$62,97926%26-2$2,422$28,931,48680Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Thunder Soul$51,260--35--$1,465$51,2601Roadside Attractions
9Love Crime$48,49812%203$2,425$227,3604IFC Films
10Machine Gun Preacher$45,130--4--$11,283$45,1301Relativity Media
11Senna$42,228-35%31-6$1,362$1,190,6687Producers Distribution Agency
12Mozart's Sister$36,730-6%225$1,670$235,0036Music Box Films
13Monte Carlo$34,988-41%34-12$1,029$23,179,30313Fox
14Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$33,973-45%38-60$894$241,063,87519Disney
15Circumstance$32,802-33%29-2$1,131$310,2515Roadside Attractions
16The Black Power Mixtape: 1967 - 1975$32,336178%64$5,389$76,4433IFC Films
17The Tree of Life$31,743-10%39-2$814$13,205,30618Fox Searchlight
18Saving Private Perez$31,195-64%44-72$709$1,391,7704Lionsgate / Pantelion
19The Whistleblower$29,506-40%50-8$590$1,015,9258IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
20Puncture$29,175--4--$7,294$29,1751Millennium Entertainment
21Weekend$27,245--1--$27,245$27,2451IFC Films
22Green Lantern (2011)$24,830-55%49-54$507$116,593,19115Warner Bros.
23Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$24,12125%120$2,010$4,238,943723D Entertainment
24The Mill and the Cross$21,87793%54$4,375$44,0352Kino Lorber
25Conan the Barbarian (2011)$20,491-77%56-98$366$21,211,0166Lionsgate
26Point Blank$20,008-43%26-11$770$617,0609Magnolia / Magnet
27Fright Night (2011)$19,346-70%44-104$440$18,060,0956Disney / DreamWorks
28Under the Sea 3D$17,0505%8-1$2,131$29,831,163137Warner Bros. / IMAX
29Restless (2011)$15,5280%1712$913$39,5092Sony Pictures Classics
30The Man Nobody Knew$15,411--1--$15,411$15,4111First Run Features
31Brighton Rock (2011)$14,8402%182$824$164,5015IFC Films
32Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$14,12137%10-1$1,412$562,51112International Film Circuit
33Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life$10,201-22%7-1$1,457$116,7304Music Box Films
34Limelight (2011)$9,529--1--$9,529$9,5291Magnolia Pictures
35The Future$9,310-43%27-2$345$521,0899Roadside Attractions
363 (2010)$8,662-12%62$1,444$24,3262Strand Releasing
37X-Men: First Class$8,567-51%22-14$389$146,405,37117Fox
38Attack the Block$8,482-65%17-18$499$1,024,1759Sony / Screen Gems
39Space Station 3D$8,283-23%31$2,761$84,295,161493IMAX
40The Interrupters$8,124-61%7-3$1,161$187,6779Cinema Guild
41Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$7,630211%5-3$1,526$11,860,8397Fox
42The Devil's Double$7,577-19%4823$158$1,357,0429Lionsgate
43Shaolin$7,567-48%6-5$1,261$55,7823Variance Films
44Incendiary: The Willingham Case$7,308--1--$7,308$7,3081Truly Indie
45Mysteries of Lisbon$6,95277%41$1,738$78,2698Music Box Films
46The Names of Love$6,883-16%10-5$688$475,88614Music Box Films
47Caesar & Otto's Summer Camp Massacre$6,825-40%3-2$2,275$22,8202Nocturnal Features
48The Trip (2011)$6,758-59%12-10$563$2,014,92216IFC Films
49Where Soldiers Come From$5,750640%32$1,917$10,2293International Film Circuit
50Another Earth$5,590-23%14-3$399$1,303,30010Fox Searchlight
52Jane's Journey$5,073-18%10$5,073$12,4842First Run Features
53Marriage Italian Style (2011 re-issue)$4,967--1--$4,967$4,9671Kino Classics
54Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest$4,646-52%12-8$387$1,182,33512Sony Pictures Classics
55Project Nim$4,487-31%181$249$391,55512Roadside Attractions
56People v. The State of Illusion$4,420-29%10$4,420$28,1863IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
57The Last Circus$4,406-9%5-1$881$31,9986Magnolia / Magnet
58The Whale$4,314209%1-1$4,314$13,4163Paladin
60Happy, Happy$4,213-41%3-1$1,404$14,5772Magnolia Pictures
61Buck$4,074-86%14-49$291$4,023,12315IFC Films
62A Bird of the Air$3,819--1--$3,819$3,8191Paladin
63Life, Above All$3,760-46%16-2$235$111,83211Sony Pictures Classics
64Amigo$3,506-55%4-2$877$132,6646Variance Films
65El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$3,49330%40$873$116,5569Alive Mind Cinema
66Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$3,434131%72$491$1,346,50311Fox Searchlight
67Bol$3,069-79%380$81$186,4104Eros International
68Life in a Day$2,628-54%5-2$526$247,2159National Geographic
69City of Life and Death$2,424239%20$1,212$108,61220Kino International
70Love in Space$2,358-72%3-10$786$33,9763China Lion Film
71Tabloid$2,293-75%9-7$255$680,46811IFC Films
72Magic Trip$2,192-69%7-3$313$138,0438Magnolia Pictures
73Page One: Inside the New York Times$2,14041%62$357$1,055,84315Magnolia Pictures
74Granito: How to Nail a Dictator$1,793-59%20$897$14,0672International Film Circuit
75WAR: Women Art Revolution$1,762--2--$881$48,57517Zeitgeist Films
76Battleship Potemkin (2011 re-issue)$1,642--1--$1,642$50,52637Kino International
77Gun Hill Road$1,494--2--$747$139,0138Motion Film Group
78Bride Flight$1,335-63%50$267$492,87616Music Box Films
79Passione: A Musical Adventure$1,286-56%1-1$1,286$202,85614Abramorama
80My Kingdom (2011)$1,192-85%1-17$1,192$35,9863China Lion Film
81The Man Who Fell to Earth (2011 re-issue)$1,130135%2-1$565$83,54714Rialto Pictures
82The Tree$841-76%2-3$421$51,54511Zeitgeist Films
83Incendies$769-47%5-1$154$6,857,09623Sony Pictures Classics
84Pianomania$756--2--$378$27,40718First Run Features
853D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstacy$740-74%2-1$370$152,3647China Lion Film
86Bill Cunningham New York$705-39%10$705$1,500,11328Zeitgeist Films
87Turtle: The Incredible Journey$691-68%2-1$346$375,09014Hannover House
88Special Treatment$479-78%10$479$6,5665First Run Features
89Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles$459--1--$459$20,2484Argot Pictures
90The Weird World of Blowfly$402-61%10$402$1,7212Variance Films
91Rapt$372-65%1-1$372$40,64212Lorber Films
92Film Socialisme$201310%10$201$31,54517Lorber Films