'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.

Daily Domestic Gross Sun, Apr. 14 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Apr. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
142 (2013)$7,085,264-38%3,003--$2,359$27,487,1441Warner Bros.
2The Croods$3,904,398-37%3,689-190$1,058$142,439,1444Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3G.I. Joe: Retaliation$3,004,636-39%3,535-199$850$102,520,1133Paramount
4Scary Movie 5$2,617,199-57%3,402--$769$14,157,3671Weinstein / Dimension
5Jurassic Park 3D$2,486,310-37%2,7787$895$31,970,9852Universal
6Evil Dead$2,269,080-44%3,0250$750$41,530,0842Sony / TriStar
7Olympus Has Fallen$1,927,514-41%2,935-124$657$81,856,8984FilmDistrict
8Oz: The Great and Powerful$1,348,945-41%2,504-401$539$219,381,3706Disney
9Tyler Perry's Temptation$1,080,941-47%1,805-242$599$45,425,0983Lionsgate
10The Host (2013)$573,009-46%2,172-1030$264$23,428,4833Open Road
11The Call$489,522-45%1,630-372$300$48,574,2155Sony / TriStar

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Apr. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Place Beyond the Pines$984,674-41%514484$1,916$5,239,8663Focus
2Trance$226,420-41%438434$517$1,071,2162Fox Searchlight
4Identity Thief$124,080-53%564-157$220$132,022,26510Universal
5Spring Breakers$98,661-36%426-646$232$13,529,1905A24
6Silver Linings Playbook$91,246-54%451-73$202$130,333,79822Weinstein Company
7Jack the Giant Slayer$87,652-42%331-171$265$62,958,2917Warner Bros. / New Line
8Life of Pi$63,577-42%217-52$293$124,279,74121Fox
9Quartet$60,741-42%224-28$271$17,577,66514Weinstein Company
10Warm Bodies$55,821-44%279-8$200$65,898,06711Lionsgate / Summit
11Escape From Planet Earth$46,845-38%276-156$170$54,660,1139Weinstein Company
12The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$40,030-41%274-261$146$22,129,4005Warner Bros. / New Line
13A Good Day to Die Hard$39,368-44%210-15$187$67,006,7659Fox
14Safe Haven$39,122-53%277-83$141$70,604,6969Relativity Media
15Snitch (2013)$33,290-46%215-89$155$41,988,9718Lionsgate / Summit
16Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$29,367-37%154-26$191$55,587,13912Paramount
1721 And Over$21,229-33%107-73$198$25,431,6767Relativity Media
18Django Unchained$18,729-51%126-57$149$162,691,58216Weinstein Company
19Argo$13,958-45%1720$81$135,986,92327Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Apr. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Sapphires$66,836-43%9333$719$784,3464Weinstein Company
2From Up on Poppy Hill$28,561-33%498$583$608,9775GKIDS
3Not Today$24,250-28%41--$591$96,3471Freestyle Releasing
4Emperor$14,926-31%96-24$155$3,219,1416Roadside Attractions
5The Impossible$14,370-47%77-3$187$18,996,75517Lionsgate / Summit
6Side Effects (2013)$13,288-46%53-27$251$31,479,38910Open Road
7To the Arctic 3D$12,436-37%520$239$12,123,51452Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Parental Guidance$11,691-56%90-20$130$77,118,97716Fox
9Dead Man Down$8,721-24%94-52$93$10,880,9266FilmDistrict
10Starbuck$8,639-45%321$270$3,658,8314eOne Films US
11The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$8,452-37%55-22$154$302,975,07518Warner Bros. / New Line
12Free Angela and All Political Prisoners$6,782-13%13-3$522$110,6542CodeBlack Films
13Dark Skies$6,435-61%25-3$257$17,217,8588Weinstein / Dimension
14Settai$4,666-37%15-18$311$76,6652UTV Motion Pictures
15Girl Rising$3,650--4842$76$668,9226Gathr Films
16Born to Be Wild 3D$2,988-52%300$100$22,457,828106Warner Bros. / IMAX
17Stoker$2,941-45%30-59$98$1,672,4957Fox Searchlight
18Himmatwala$144-61%3-58$48$270,5783UTV Motion Pictures
19Kai Po Che$92-70%1-1$92$1,120,7858UTV Motion Pictures