'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, Feb. 15 - Sun, Feb. 17

Wide (1000+)

1A Good Day to Die Hard$24,834,845--3,553--$6,990$33,073,9611Fox
2Identity Thief$23,674,295-31%3,16524$7,480$70,962,0802Universal
3Safe Haven$21,401,594--3,223--$6,640$30,230,5121Relativity Media
4Escape From Planet Earth$15,891,055--3,288--$4,833$15,891,0551Weinstein Company
5Warm Bodies$8,865,186-22%2,897-112$3,060$50,085,7173Lionsgate / Summit
6Beautiful Creatures (2013)$7,582,595--2,950--$2,570$10,124,9121Warner Bros.
7Side Effects (2013)$6,272,152-33%2,6050$2,408$19,092,9882Open Road
8Silver Linings Playbook$6,241,902-3%2,202-607$2,835$98,616,37414Weinstein Company
9Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$3,513,410-39%2,103-1182$1,671$49,742,2054Paramount
10Zero Dark Thirty$2,995,899-25%1,527-1035$1,962$87,924,5679Sony / Columbia
12Lincoln$1,635,183-13%1,007-510$1,624$176,223,11015Disney / DreamWorks
13Django Unchained$1,527,281-34%1,017-485$1,502$157,020,2648Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

1Argo$2,182,269-8%903-502$2,417$126,845,32119Warner Bros.
2Life of Pi$1,570,368-10%647-277$2,427$110,872,26913Fox
3Quartet$1,314,09740%33389$3,946$6,890,1146Weinstein Company
4The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$990,361-33%605-396$1,637$299,874,70610Warner Bros. / New Line
5Les Miserables (2012)$861,895-45%676-771$1,275$145,527,8758Universal
6Wreck-It Ralph$793,472-26%506-251$1,568$185,527,33116Disney
7Amour$702,74287%306181$2,297$3,925,8719Sony Pictures Classics
8Parental Guidance$489,509-54%603-616$812$75,153,3698Fox
9The Impossible$480,402-50%422-317$1,138$17,507,0539Lionsgate / Summit
11Rise of The Guardians$421,91966%33863$1,248$101,381,49413Paramount / DreamWorks
12The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013$370,509-4%266115$1,393$1,466,4463ShortsHD
13A Haunted House$298,490-62%340-573$878$39,546,2616Open Road
14The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$285,713186%25494$1,125$291,779,21914Lionsgate / Summit
15Skyfall$267,784-38%262-108$1,022$303,898,78115Sony / Columbia
16Bullet to the Head$240,819-88%470-1934$512$9,234,4983Warner Bros.
17Gangster Squad$201,742-77%210-732$961$45,346,2936Warner Bros.
18Beasts of the Southern Wild$151,96722%19295$791$12,272,20034Fox Searchlight
19Jack Reacher$128,247-46%175-132$733$79,334,2329Paramount
20Stand Up Guys$106,550-84%119-551$895$3,161,6073Lionsgate / Roadside
21This is 40$99,365-49%167-111$595$67,432,8059Universal
22Hotel Transylvania$89,171-44%144-47$619$148,280,63521Sony / Columbia
23Broken City$83,383-83%133-622$627$19,488,2955Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

1Top Gun 3D$141,381-93%40-260$3,535$2,958,3992Paramount
2Hyde Park on Hudson$101,644-26%86-44$1,182$6,015,09211Focus
3To the Arctic 3D$80,14530%520$1,541$11,279,73944Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Hubble 3D$77,02463%214$3,668$36,395,807153Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Monsters, Inc. 3D$75,934-65%99-137$767$33,232,9429Disney
6No (2013)$71,742--4--$17,936$71,7421Sony Pictures Classics
7A Royal Affair$70,50911%34-3$2,074$1,244,87315Magnolia Pictures
856 Up$69,93385%2711$2,590$371,0627First Run Features
9Texas Chainsaw 3D$59,876-41%96-89$624$34,288,9117Lionsgate
10Here Comes the Boom$53,779-45%96-48$560$45,274,25119Sony / Columbia
11ABCD - Any Body Can Dance$53,657-44%22-3$2,439$179,8112UTV Motion Pictures
12The Guilt Trip$51,728-52%88-137$588$36,794,8079Paramount
13Born to Be Wild 3D$45,7725%300$1,526$21,985,56898Warner Bros. / IMAX
14The Gatekeepers$45,1857%41$11,296$216,6313Sony Pictures Classics
15Anna Karenina (2012)$40,815-34%51-40$800$12,762,90414Focus
16Lore$38,27021%82$4,784$86,1022Music Box Films
17Koch$37,47844%117$3,407$126,1563Zeitgeist Films
18Red Dawn (2012)$28,018-48%56-49$500$44,794,93613FilmDistrict
19The Master$27,27015%22-7$1,240$16,285,99423Weinstein Company
20Rust and Bone$26,140-11%33-18$792$1,943,49313Sony Pictures Classics
21Happy People: A Year in the Taiga$26,028729%76$3,718$53,2544Music Box Films
22The Last Stand$25,837-72%54-185$478$11,959,6475Lionsgate
23Sound City$23,486-26%17-2$1,382$286,5833Variance Films
24Searching For Sugar Man$23,34714%19-1$1,229$3,278,31330Sony Pictures Classics
25Like Someone in Love$21,813--3--$7,271$21,8131IFC Films
26A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III$21,786--18--$1,210$35,5862A24
27Movie 43$18,365-93%35-742$525$8,778,6794Relativity Media
28Race 2$17,555-79%11-52$1,596$1,566,7394UTV Motion Pictures
29Yossi$15,33472%71$2,191$56,2434Strand Releasing
30A Late Quartet$12,94747%131$996$1,531,48316Entertainment One / RKO
31Under the Sea 3D$12,514301%102$1,251$32,555,517210Warner Bros. / IMAX
32The Sessions$12,0673%16-2$754$5,954,28018Fox Searchlight
33Space Station 3D$11,500-73%2-1$5,750$87,158,044566IMAX
34John Dies at the End$10,777-47%101$1,078$62,6424Magnolia / Magnet
35Hitchcock$9,598-52%14-22$686$5,944,06313Fox Searchlight
36Lost in Thailand$8,289-74%350$237$55,5642WAMCR
37Playing For Keeps (2012)$8,010-72%23-58$348$13,099,78611FilmDistrict
38The Power of Few$7,614--2--$3,807$7,6141Steelyard Pictures
39Deep Sea 3D$6,736-84%70$962$45,418,695364Warner Bros. / IMAX
40Killing Them Softly$6,240-84%30-57$208$15,022,14612Weinstein Company
41Taken 2$6,018-60%16-19$376$139,852,11520Fox
42West of Memphis$5,764-43%8-2$721$128,8438Sony Pictures Classics
43The Waiting Room$3,449-34%40$862$198,99221International Film Circuit
44Brooklyn Castle$2,812--3--$937$216,09818Producers Distribution Agency
45The Sorcerer and the White Snake$2,744-50%4-1$686$14,1612Magnolia / Magnet
46Night Across the Street$2,205-32%10$2,205$7,6132Cinema Guild
475 Broken Cameras$2,091-20%6-1$349$93,57838Kino Lorber
48North Sea Texas$1,563--2--$782$27,41316Strand Releasing
49Masquerade (2012)$1,194-32%2-2$597$911,81722CJ Entertainment
50Any Day Now$1,138-28%3-2$379$183,07510Music Box Films
52The Package (2013)$1,095--1--$1,095$1,0951Anchor Bay Films
53Starlet$916--2--$458$87,91015Music Box Films
54Little Fugitive (2013 re-issue)$888--1--$888$17,7603APD/Cinema Conservancy
55We Won't Grow Old Together$694--1--$694$13,60237The Film Desk
56Wagner & Me$673178%10$673$36,08911First Run Features
57Beware of Mr. Baker$661-77%2-1$331$109,40612SnagFilms