'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, Jan. 28 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Jan. 28 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ride Along$1,545,04014%2,75996$560$78,441,7552Universal
2Lone Survivor$1,059,27016%3,162173$335$95,891,1715Universal
3Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$926,84737%3,3870$274$32,058,0242Paramount
4The Nut Job$904,40747%3,47245$260$41,576,0132Open Road
5Frozen (2013)$901,78237%2,757-222$327$349,458,29510Disney
6I, Frankenstein$734,89818%2,753--$267$9,966,0871Lionsgate
7American Hustle$646,54131%2,304100$281$128,140,9007Sony / Columbia
8August: Osage County$585,60239%2,411360$243$27,522,7985Weinstein Company
9The Wolf of Wall Street$575,84725%1,804-126$319$99,546,3595Paramount
10Devil's Due$248,95517%2,5440$98$13,383,1502Fox
11Her (2013)$241,08625%1,325-404$182$19,614,0116Warner Bros.
1212 Years a Slave$235,25432%1,231470$191$43,973,89815Fox Searchlight
13Dallas Buyers Club$233,02136%1,110691$210$20,761,97513Focus
14Saving Mr. Banks$220,75733%1,660-789$133$79,545,2597Disney
15The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$213,00531%1,285-530$166$252,701,5657Warner Bros. / New Line
16Gravity$211,47619%1,260316$168$261,598,72917Warner Bros.
17The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$127,43621%1,051-277$121$420,255,10610Lionsgate
18The Legend Of Hercules$104,90511%1,371-733$77$17,244,1603Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Jan. 28 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Nebraska$207,78333%968560$215$12,084,51911Paramount Vantage
2Philomena$155,24838%5050$307$26,081,90710Weinstein Company
3Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$82,39620%824-907$100$123,954,1496Paramount
4The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$57,51423%540-497$107$56,447,0775Fox
5Gimme Shelter (2014)$53,6409%385--$139$791,8951Roadside Attractions
6Inside Llewyn Davis$44,8639%289-296$155$12,082,1608CBS Films
7Captain Phillips$35,58728%302-601$118$106,307,56616Sony / Columbia
847 Ronin$34,65545%239-104$145$38,114,4005Universal
9Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$32,64726%527-1042$62$32,157,0094Paramount
10The Book Thief$26,27221%1977$133$20,561,73112Fox
11Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$19,96722%242-14$83$118,906,86818Sony / Columbia
12Walking With Dinosaurs$16,92820%330-124$51$34,722,5726Fox
13Grudge Match$10,82611%244-164$44$29,256,8725Warner Bros.
14Free Birds$6,93731%171-28$41$55,447,72613Relativity Media
15Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$6,05638%102-20$59$8,090,3119Weinstein Company
16Lee Daniels' The Butler$4,18122%101-18$41$116,604,90624Weinstein Company
17Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$2,6233%132-259$20$52,332,6167Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Jan. 28 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gloria (2014)$5,040-8%3--$1,680$66,9941Roadside Attractions
2Out of the Furnace$2,75118%74-23$37$11,313,9768Relativity Media
3Knights of Badassdom$2,696161%130$207$50,4901eOne Films US
4All Is Lost$1,809-21%30-32$60$6,228,08015Roadside Attractions