'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, Jan. 25 - Sun, Jan. 27

Wide (1000+)

1Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$19,690,956--3,372--$5,840$19,690,9561Paramount
3Zero Dark Thirty$9,700,132-39%2,929-17$3,312$69,803,9796Sony / Columbia
4Silver Linings Playbook$9,444,039-12%2,641118$3,576$68,908,66611Weinstein Company
6Django Unchained$4,946,932-36%2,007-509$2,465$146,236,7585Weinstein Company
7Movie 43$4,805,878--2,023--$2,376$4,805,8781Relativity Media
8Gangster Squad$4,278,235-50%2,590-513$1,652$39,725,1023Warner Bros.
9Les Miserables (2012)$4,221,055-44%2,210-369$1,910$137,546,2055Universal
10Broken City$4,019,558-51%2,6222$1,533$15,289,5472Fox
11Lincoln$3,863,689-29%1,909-265$2,024$167,051,52312Disney / DreamWorks
12The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$3,385,361-45%1,675-648$2,021$293,323,8317Warner Bros. / New Line
13A Haunted House$3,244,017-60%2,002-158$1,620$35,439,9983Open Road
14Parental Guidance$2,502,684-41%1,736-601$1,442$70,845,4975Fox
15The Last Stand$2,150,562-66%2,9130$738$10,684,5072Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

1Life of Pi$2,587,148-23%941-315$2,749$103,427,50810Fox
2The Impossible$1,935,638-22%782-104$2,475$13,297,3936Lionsgate / Summit
3Argo$1,812,358-20%635-121$2,854$117,568,78516Warner Bros.
4Quartet$1,159,032281%163131$7,111$1,699,8613Weinstein Company
5Race 2$884,757--153--$5,783$884,7571UTV Motion Pictures
6Jack Reacher$820,389-63%888-819$924$78,173,4826Paramount
7Skyfall$791,239-18%456-51$1,735$302,044,12612Sony / Columbia
8Wreck-It Ralph$731,879-44%588-724$1,245$182,484,64013Disney
9This is 40$719,935-65%507-725$1,420$66,323,7256Universal
10Monsters, Inc. 3D$385,041-49%322-243$1,196$32,488,0706Disney
11Rise of The Guardians$371,328-34%305-169$1,217$100,212,85710Paramount / DreamWorks
12Hotel Transylvania$350,870-4%228-9$1,539$147,615,10418Sony / Columbia
13The Guilt Trip$268,464-56%352-290$763$36,239,9186Paramount
14Hyde Park on Hudson$257,600-39%144-50$1,789$5,311,9698Focus
15The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$220,734-34%216-90$1,022$291,075,68911Lionsgate / Summit
17Here Comes the Boom$166,870-16%191-18$874$44,912,74416Sony / Columbia
18Red Dawn (2012)$150,184-30%205-44$733$44,537,47010FilmDistrict
19Texas Chainsaw 3D$136,257-89%285-1189$478$33,993,9644Lionsgate
20Rust and Bone$121,542-46%116-52$1,048$1,702,52010Sony Pictures Classics
21Taken 2$65,953-37%124-32$532$139,761,28417Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

1Amour$467,15325%6428$7,299$1,801,0616Sony Pictures Classics
2Beasts of the Southern Wild$158,3236%62-9$2,554$11,697,92831Fox Searchlight
3Anna Karenina (2012)$110,256-33%98-19$1,125$12,433,44511Focus
4Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$93,328-57%96-169$972$12,376,2446Paramount
5A Royal Affair$73,03548%402$1,826$853,94112Magnolia Pictures
6The Master$70,422304%3723$1,903$16,128,16720Weinstein Company
7To the Arctic 3D$63,715-13%520$1,225$10,979,72141Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Hubble 3D$51,3140%192$2,701$36,089,515150Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Hitchcock$43,657-36%90-32$485$5,857,51710Fox Searchlight
11The Sessions$43,045-1%620$694$5,861,58915Fox Searchlight
12Pitch Perfect$42,765-38%91-34$470$64,966,85818Universal
1356 Up$37,35217%117$3,396$186,3374First Run Features
14Chasing Ice$36,159--27--$1,339$1,065,13012Submarine Deluxe
15Searching For Sugar Man$31,8088%26-1$1,223$3,182,61927Sony Pictures Classics
16The Perks of Being A Wallflower$29,782-42%56-17$532$17,713,83819Lionsgate / Summit
17Born to Be Wild 3D$29,536-9%300$985$21,827,49195Warner Bros. / IMAX
18Beware of Mr. Baker$25,798--15--$1,720$79,7069SnagFilms
19West of Memphis$22,176179%145$1,584$82,0785Sony Pictures Classics
20LUV$19,836-76%21-24$945$138,9782Indomina Media
21Ice Age: Continental Drift$19,015-16%33-7$576$161,299,49229Fox
22Space Station 3D$15,329-15%3-1$5,110$87,035,763563IMAX
23A Late Quartet$14,425-24%10-4$1,443$1,471,80513Entertainment One / RKO
24Deep Sea 3D$12,989-11%40$3,247$45,332,564361Warner Bros. / IMAX
25John Dies at the End$12,467--1--$12,467$12,4671Magnolia / Magnet
26Yossi$12,287--2--$6,144$12,2871Strand Releasing
27Happy People: A Year in the Taiga$10,481--1--$10,481$10,4811Music Box Films
28Under the Sea 3D$9,70672%70$1,387$32,525,203207Warner Bros. / IMAX
29Playing For Keeps (2012)$8,502-52%35-23$243$12,952,5848FilmDistrict
30Any Day Now$8,04555%136$619$170,0917Music Box Films
31Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$6,776-18%81$847$996,24219IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
32The Other Son$4,010--6--$668$1,243,24214Cohen Media Group
33The Waiting Room$3,45066%52$690$185,35218International Film Circuit
34The Pirogue$3,444--1--$3,444$4,1321ArtMattan Productions
35In Another Country$3,120--2--$1,560$19,99412Kino Lorber
36Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters$2,83888%21$1,419$47,52613Zeitgeist Films
375 Broken Cameras$2,56044%21$1,280$81,49935Kino Lorber
38Killing Them Softly$2,261-64%3-9$754$14,960,1159Weinstein Company
39The House I Live In$2,027-84%1-4$2,027$207,42817Abramorama
40Brooklyn Castle$1,92849%1-2$1,928$211,32815Producers Distribution Agency
41Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation$1,821-67%10$1,821$10,9402Kino Lorber
42Starlet$1,738--5--$348$86,16412Music Box Films
43The Revisionaries$1,142--1--$1,142$21,73117Kino Lorber
44Wagner & Me$1,1367%10$1,136$34,1788First Run Features
45Somewhere Between$1,073-82%1-2$1,073$210,97523Long Shot Factory
46The Man in the White Suit (2012 re-issue)$861--1--$861$8,26511Rialto Pictures
47My Worst Nightmare$790--2--$395$19,44615Strand Releasing
48Port of Shadows (2012 re-issue)$781--1--$781$17,81820Rialto Pictures
49Django (2012 re-issue)$535-55%20$268$22,2456Rialto Pictures
50A Dark Truth$363-14%10$363$5,7504Magnolia Pictures
51The Invisible War$313-77%40$78$64,65532Cinedigm
52Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$200--1--$200$92,72017Roadside Attractions