'The Martian' Sets October Record with $18 Million Opening Day; 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Still Rolling at $7.5 Million; 'Sicario' Expands Well to $4.3 MillionOctober 03, 2015 04:40 AM

by BoxOffice Staff

Fox reports that The Martian landed with a fantastic opening day of $18 million on Friday, including the adaptation's $2.5 million Thursday night haul. That gives it the best opening day of all-time for an October release, edging out Gravity's $17.5 million two years ago this weekend. That figure also tops Interstellar's $16.9 million first Friday (although it earned $2.15 million in limited release over the previous two days), while giving Matt Damon his best career opening day outside the Bourne franchise (The Bourne Ultimatum debuted to $24.7 million; Supremacy to $18.44 million. Last but not least, this is also director Ridley Scott's third best opening day after Prometheus ($21.5 million) and 2001's Hannibal ($19.3 million) -- in other words, making it his best first day gross among non-sequels and non-franchises.

Even better news for the adaptation of Andy Weir's best-selling novel is the fact that early word of mouth is lining up with critical reviews. Flixster users and Rotten Tomatoes critics each give it a high 94 percent score as of Saturday morning, both of which rank among the best scores by any wide release this year. Worth noting is that the film did earn a bit less on Friday "proper" ($15.5 million without Thursday grosses) than Gravity did ($16.1 million), and for that reason we're not quite pulling the trigger on calling an October opening weekend record (Gravity holds it at $55.8 million). Still, it should be pretty close even if it does fall short, and all of the aforementioned good signs point to a leggy run. BoxOffice's official projection as of Saturday morning is for a stellar $54 million debut frame.

Moving down to second place yesterday, Hotel Transylvania 2 eased 44 percent from its first day last Friday to $7.5 million. That gives the hit animated sequel an eight-day domestic take of $65.04 million -- putting it 16 percent ahead of its 2012 predecessor at the same point. BoxOffice projects a $31 million sophomore frame.

Expanding into wide release after two weeks of strong limited play, Denis Villeneuve's Sicario pulled an encouraging $4.28 million from 2,620 theaters on Friday in third place. That gives the strongly reviewed film a $7.28 million domestic total now, and early buzz is very positive with a 90 percent Flixster score alongside the well-documented 92 percent critical vote. BoxOffice is projecting a $13 million weekend.

In fourth place, The Intern eased 43 percent from opening day last week to $3.57 million yesterday. Writer/director Nancy Meyers' latest success has pulled $28.47 million through eight days of release, putting it 45 percent ahead of the pace of her 2006 film, The Holiday. BoxOffice is projecting a second weekend of $11.5 million.

In fifth, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials posted $2.1 million for a 49 percent week-to-week drop. With a sum of $57.7 million domestically so far, BoxOffice projects a $7.3 million weekend.

Meanwhile, The Walk is unfortunately not off to the kind of start in IMAX theaters that was hoped for. The strongly reviewed (86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) film based on tight-rope walker Philippe Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) earned just $390,000 from its 448 locations yesterday, giving it a three-day total of $0.81 million. That falls well short of the benchmark achieved by Everest's early IMAX release just a couple of weeks ago, however audience reception is trending upward as its Flixster score has increased from 77 percent to 84 percent since Wednesday evening. Given the amount of competition in the marketplace right now, the film's nationwide expansion could benefit from that positive word of mouth in the weeks ahead. For now, BoxOffice is projecting a $1.25 million three-day weekend.

Daily Domestic Gross Wed, Nov. 23 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Nov. 23 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$12,437,56413%4,066--$3,059$171,415,7261Lionsgate / Summit
2The Muppets$6,510,912--3,440--$1,893$6,510,9120Disney
3Happy Feet Two$2,907,46421%3,606--$806$28,310,8511Warner Bros.
4Arthur Christmas$2,389,269--3,376--$708$2,389,2690Sony / Columbia
5Jack and Jill$1,922,78727%3,029-409$635$45,229,9552Sony / Columbia
6Immortals$1,813,3237%2,677-435$677$57,915,4232Relativity Media
8Puss in Boots (2011)$1,647,56310%3,005-898$548$126,630,9164Paramount / DreamWorks
9Tower Heist$1,281,83532%2,489-881$515$56,468,5403Universal
10J. Edgar$832,01310%1,94737$427$22,889,2402Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Nov. 23 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$980,177696%390385$2,513$2,486,0711Fox Searchlight
2A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$377,170-28%960-1915$393$29,597,0023Warner Bros. / New Line
3My Week with Marilyn$156,034--123--$1,269$156,0340Weinstein Company
4In Time$148,287-49%470-2121$316$34,096,1874Fox
5Like Crazy$96,14941%15080$641$1,988,3884Paramount Vantage
6Footloose (2011)$61,922-58%384-1831$161$50,480,9136Paramount
7Paranormal Activity 3$55,064-60%355-2421$155$102,919,6675Paramount
8Moneyball$51,171-30%187-626$274$72,816,7649Sony / Columbia
9The Three Musketeers (2011)$44,67229%224-445$199$19,643,4295Summit
10Dolphin Tale$44,510-15%388-317$115$70,155,5919Warner Bros.
11Margin Call$42,991-13%170--$253$4,041,4835Roadside Attractions
12Courageous$41,507-42%211-694$197$32,506,0498Sony / TriStar
13The Ides of March$40,834-32%159-537$257$39,243,3147Sony / Columbia
15Contagion$33,15911%301-54$110$75,266,40211Warner Bros.
16The Way$31,562-6%137-34$230$3,134,4377Producers Distribution Agency
17Martha Marcy May Marlene$29,511-37%127-56$232$2,371,4345Fox Searchlight
19Rise of the Planet of the Apes$16,49018%120-44$137$176,496,31016Fox
20Johnny English Reborn$9,130-15%108-102$85$8,297,6755Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Nov. 23 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$20,627-25%490$421$14,353,84333Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Drive (2011)$14,19564%9318$153$34,392,84210FilmDistrict
3Anonymous$10,941-65%72-410$152$4,219,0624Sony / Columbia
4The Rum Diary$9,683-58%54-893$179$12,892,2224FilmDistrict
5Crazy, Stupid, Love$7,8617%91-39$86$84,344,76717Warner Bros.
6Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$6,855-21%48-24$143$38,487,85114Weinstein Company
7The Mighty Macs$4,73627%28-33$169$1,875,5215Quaker Media
8The Big Year$4,0202%52-31$77$7,132,0776Fox
9Inni$2,912285%5-2$582$92,3604Cinema Purgatorio
10Sarah's Key$2,658-36%27-135$98$7,673,20918Weinstein Company
11Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$2,003-50%78-7$26$381,009,52519Warner Bros.
12Shark Night 3D$718-66%270$27$18,876,64212Relativity Media
13Laugh at My Pain$590-45%11-2$54$7,698,85311CodeBlack Entertainment
14Machine Gun Preacher$54035%9-3$60$532,8129Relativity Media
15I Don't Know How She Does It$274-82%38-45$7$9,662,12210Weinstein Company
16Our Idiot Brother$266-45%6-6$44$24,815,89513Weinstein Company
17Circumstance$111-7%1-4$111$441,72413Roadside Attractions
18Apollo 18$82-71%5-13$16$17,687,62012Weinstein Company
19The Future$4-92%1-2$4$568,27917Roadside Attractions