'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 Tue, Dec. 6 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Dec. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$1,315,11115%4,046-20$325$249,388,8093Lionsgate / Summit
2The Muppets$682,44419%3,4400$198$57,611,1812Disney
4Immortals$494,01916%2,627-50$188$76,579,4184Relativity Media
5Arthur Christmas$428,48031%3,3760$127$26,099,9522Sony / Columbia
6Happy Feet Two$402,14729%3,536-75$114$52,418,9903Warner Bros.
7Jack and Jill$377,08234%3,04920$124$64,823,4584Sony / Columbia
8Tower Heist$324,54023%2,404-70$135$71,186,5455Universal
9J. Edgar$286,04928%1,98575$144$33,078,6894Warner Bros.
10Puss in Boots (2011)$207,02022%2,750-255$75$139,891,7646Paramount / DreamWorks
11Moneyball$64,71323%1,004817$64$73,904,73911Sony / Columbia
12The Ides of March$62,84625%1,016857$62$40,236,6919Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Dec. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$465,36132%574141$811$18,495,5083Fox Searchlight
2My Week with Marilyn$138,38025%2440$567$4,109,4832Weinstein Company
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$123,07628%710-165$173$33,304,6345Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$60,92029%421-36$145$35,958,7516Fox
5Courageous$28,06422%26554$106$33,087,15610Sony / TriStar
6Like Crazy$27,52423%1522$181$2,924,1916Paramount Vantage
7Margin Call$26,88161%15111$178$4,728,3367Roadside Attractions
8The Way$24,53632%16059$153$3,666,8849Producers Distribution Agency
9Dolphin Tale$24,48225%410194$60$70,758,96011Warner Bros.
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$14,47035%208-16$70$20,119,6267Summit
12Footloose (2011)$11,01422%309-75$36$51,051,3058Paramount
13Paranormal Activity 3$10,875-3%255-100$43$103,464,5117Paramount
14Anonymous$9,46929%10533$90$4,412,2406Sony / Columbia
16Contagion$6,78522%155-63$44$75,578,74413Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Dec. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Shame$43,81011%10--$4,381$432,6671Fox Searchlight
2The Artist$22,1336%62$3,689$544,6582Weinstein Company
3Born to Be Wild 3D$17,638167%490$360$14,588,61535Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Martha Marcy May Marlene$8,9553%84-29$107$2,749,6877Fox Searchlight
5Drive (2011)$8,29215%86-7$96$34,613,80912FilmDistrict
6The Rum Diary$6,14426%639$98$13,029,9166FilmDistrict
7The Polar Express (2011 re-issue)$5,890304%245$245$166,8792Warner Bros.
8Pastorela$5,581-20%55--$101$94,7661Lionsgate / Pantelion
9Rise of the Planet of the Apes$3,89913%84-19$46$176,653,74418Fox
10Answers to Nothing$2,26136%21--$108$18,1881Roadside Attractions
11Circumstance$1,665-3%2--$833$449,16615Roadside Attractions
12Inni$648-27%2-3$324$110,9996Cinema Purgatorio
13Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$47034%31-17$15$38,529,48716Weinstein Company
14Sarah's Key$3275%7-20$47$7,692,33920Weinstein Company
15Laugh at My Pain$15122%51$30$7,704,75613CodeBlack Entertainment