'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, Jan. 10 - Sun, Jan. 12

Wide (1000+)

1Lone Survivor$37,849,91044504%2,8752873$13,165$38,231,4713Universal
2Frozen (2013)$14,728,118-25%3,239-79$4,547$317,319,1068Disney
3The Legend Of Hercules$8,868,318--2,104--$4,215$8,868,3181Lionsgate / Summit
4The Wolf of Wall Street$8,839,220-33%2,521-36$3,506$78,425,7713Paramount
5American Hustle$8,302,205-33%2,629111$3,158$101,265,1335Sony / Columbia
6The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$8,022,353-49%3,075-655$2,609$242,226,7885Warner Bros. / New Line
7Saving Mr. Banks$6,556,216-25%2,671561$2,455$68,927,4425Disney
8Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$6,284,630-66%2,88316$2,180$28,456,0192Paramount
9Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$5,838,849-45%3,012-395$1,939$118,256,7934Paramount
10Her (2013)$5,383,775645%1,7291682$3,114$8,783,0754Warner Bros.
11The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$4,383,208-38%1,762-381$2,488$413,775,8598Lionsgate
12The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$4,302,846-46%2,584-338$1,665$52,593,6083Fox
13Grudge Match$1,907,216-64%2,005-851$951$28,410,6463Warner Bros.
1447 Ronin$1,644,310-67%1,359-1331$1,210$36,444,1953Universal
15Walking With Dinosaurs$1,405,976-62%1,339-1221$1,050$33,715,0034Fox
16Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$1,090,856-63%1,040-434$1,049$51,854,7535Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

1August: Osage County$7,158,2655016%905900$7,910$7,703,6503Weinstein Company
2Inside Llewyn Davis$1,882,54875%729573$2,582$9,315,6746CBS Films
3Philomena$1,385,067-4%6070$2,282$21,941,0958Weinstein Company
4Nebraska$885,46343%521281$1,700$8,215,1179Paramount Vantage
5Gravity$419,092-12%155-10$2,704$256,224,79615Warner Bros.
6The Book Thief$393,076-26%303-26$1,297$19,742,81010Fox
7Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$330,155-25%264-14$1,251$118,068,91216Sony / Columbia
8Thor: The Dark World$314,894-34%257-34$1,225$203,934,48010Disney
9Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$275,067-74%363-647$758$7,760,2707Weinstein Company
1012 Years a Slave$270,760-18%114-37$2,375$38,904,53513Fox Searchlight
11Dallas Buyers Club$239,889-21%125-3$1,919$16,681,97211Focus
12Last Vegas$177,580-11%240-17$740$63,392,48911CBS Films
13Free Birds$157,622-25%232-21$679$55,122,44811Relativity Media
14Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$135,415-23%192-28$705$101,830,23212Paramount
15Captain Phillips$95,475-21%1149$838$104,987,52614Sony / Columbia
16Lee Daniels' The Butler$90,452-11%1363$665$116,427,14922Weinstein Company
17Delivery Man$79,589-19%133-12$598$29,984,2698Disney / DreamWorks
18Despicable Me 2$66,445-31%137-14$485$368,049,63528Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

1Dhoom 3$99,244-68%43-95$2,308$8,031,9554Yash Raj Films
2The Suspect$86,137--20--$4,307$86,1371Well Go USA
3The Past$78,305125%1712$4,606$248,7574Sony Pictures Classics
4The Great Beauty$71,793-20%38-5$1,889$1,080,9999Janus Films
5The Invisible Woman$44,11263%95$4,901$170,2363Sony Pictures Classics
6Escape Plan$38,807-23%77-7$504$25,121,29113Lionsgate / Summit
7All Is Lost$36,516-22%69-2$529$6,108,04113Roadside Attractions
8The Saratov Approach$32,43759%259$1,297$1,613,59914Purdie Distribution
9Justin Bieber's Believe$29,441-95%75-962$393$6,187,0553Open Road
10Hubble 3D$26,860-54%101$2,686$42,104,491200Warner Bros. / IMAX
11Blue Is the Warmest Color$23,668-14%16-8$1,479$2,112,28012IFC Films
12Enough Said$19,678-7%20-3$984$17,536,78817Fox Searchlight
13Space Station 3D$19,386-55%20$9,693$89,829,013613IMAX
14Blue Jasmine$17,715-9%16-4$1,107$33,082,94925Sony Pictures Classics
15Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$14,079-32%33-6$427$68,537,59423Fox
16Out of the Furnace$13,739-40%37-22$371$11,214,8466Relativity Media
17Cold Comes the Night$11,603--21--$553$11,6031Stage 6 Films / Samuel Goldwyn
18The Armstrong Lie$10,27867%12-3$857$359,50410Sony Pictures Classics
19In Bloom$9,280--2--$4,640$9,2801Big World Pictures
20Personal Tailor$9,114-68%4-5$2,279$368,8394China Lion Film
21Kill Your Darlings$8,323-54%10-15$832$1,006,49113Sony Pictures Classics
22Journey to the South Pacific$8,1426%40$2,036$90,1637IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
23To the Arctic 3D$7,3645%71$1,052$13,756,93591Warner Bros. / IMAX
24The Counselor$5,07324%17-4$298$16,969,39012Fox
25If You Build It$4,949--1--$4,949$4,9491Long Shot Factory
26The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box$4,756--82--$58$4,7561RLJ / Image Entertainment
27The Rocket (2013)$4,621--2--$2,311$4,6211Kino Lorber
28Born to Be Wild 3D$4,26324%63$711$23,131,628145Warner Bros. / IMAX
29A Touch of Sin$3,887--6--$648$135,18915Kino Lorber
30Muscle Shoals$3,56763%50$713$677,41216Magnolia Pictures
31Black Nativity$3,499-6%150$233$7,017,1787Fox Searchlight
3220 Feet from Stardom$3,472-5%84$434$4,831,81431RADiUS-TWC
33Raze$3,453--2--$1,727$3,4531IFC Midnight
34Bettie Page Reveals All$3,373-50%6-1$562$88,5158Music Box Films
35Wadjda$3,231-38%9-1$359$1,416,94118Sony Pictures Classics
36Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1$3,226--1--$3,226$3,2261Anchor Bay Films
37Under the Sea 3D$3,126-38%40$782$33,718,427257Warner Bros. / IMAX
38The Best Offer$2,323-10%10$2,323$6,0312IFC Films
39Interior. Leather Bar.$2,199-58%21$1,100$9,2692Strand Releasing
40The Punk Singer$2,014-56%7-6$288$121,4187IFC Films
41The Act of Killing$893-54%40$223$464,51826Drafthouse Films
42Camille Claudel 1915$864--1--$864$31,44013Kino Lorber
43Inequality for All$68544%1-3$685$1,194,63916RADiUS-TWC
44Sweet Dreams (2013)$574468%10$574$26,98511International Film Circuit
45Here Comes the Devil$54970%20$275$3,8995Magnolia / Magnet
46The End of Time$370--1--$370$3,1347First Run Features
47Beyond Outrage$365-81%10$365$3,6412Magnolia / Magnet
48Deep Sea 3D$316--1--$316$46,018,207411Warner Bros. / IMAX
49The Last Days on Mars$245-51%20$123$23,8386Magnolia / Magnet