'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, Feb. 4 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Feb. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ride Along$844,4059%2,867108$295$94,318,2553Universal
2That Awkward Moment$777,70427%2,809--$277$10,129,8971Focus
3Lone Survivor$688,22510%3,285123$210$106,103,8916Universal
4Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$585,81127%2,907-480$202$39,925,6953Paramount
5Labor Day (2013)$570,32443%2,584--$221$6,145,7061Paramount
6Frozen (2013)$529,7009%2,754-3$192$360,652,00411Disney
7American Hustle$439,42127%2,216-88$198$134,266,6358Sony / Columbia
8I, Frankenstein$396,71423%2,7530$144$15,444,4742Lionsgate
9The Wolf of Wall Street$393,49022%1,607-197$245$104,643,4436Paramount
10August: Osage County$370,28440%2,319-92$160$32,216,5646Weinstein Company
11The Nut Job$347,15611%3,4720$100$50,570,7873Open Road
12Gravity$208,13214%1,132-128$184$264,379,61818Warner Bros.
1312 Years a Slave$203,18033%1,172-59$173$46,206,72916Fox Searchlight
14Dallas Buyers Club$154,00718%1,052-58$146$22,826,61514Focus
15Saving Mr. Banks$112,13321%1,075-585$104$81,246,8498Disney
16Devil's Due$85,83111%1,290-1254$67$14,952,9053Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Feb. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Nebraska$169,08137%875-93$193$13,952,50012Paramount Vantage
2Philomena$137,11036%56762$242$27,618,64411Weinstein Company
3Her (2013)$131,23911%803-522$163$21,486,3737Warner Bros.
4The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$124,46015%933-352$133$254,497,5168Warner Bros. / New Line
5The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$101,08023%822-229$123$421,592,06511Lionsgate
6The Legend Of Hercules$53,8534%598-773$90$18,067,2574Lionsgate / Summit
7Inside Llewyn Davis$36,77532%214-75$172$12,538,2229CBS Films
8The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$31,76411%410-130$77$56,947,6166Fox
9Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$31,3730%420-404$75$124,474,0047Paramount
10Gimme Shelter (2014)$21,9410%347-38$63$1,236,1442Roadside Attractions
11Captain Phillips$21,88516%245-57$89$106,586,05817Sony / Columbia
1247 Ronin$20,88034%174-65$120$38,333,7656Universal
13The Book Thief$19,4211%178-19$109$20,800,90713Fox
14Walking With Dinosaurs$15,37819%323-7$48$34,997,9017Fox
15Grudge Match$9,37224%241-3$39$29,359,7266Warner Bros.
16Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$8,816-11%220-22$40$119,131,59519Sony / Columbia
17Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$8,405-2%150-377$56$32,303,4555Paramount
18Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$6,8653%16331$42$52,446,9168Lionsgate
19Last Vegas$5,35818%104--$52$63,844,37314CBS Films
20Free Birds$2,916-3%135-36$22$55,526,01114Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Feb. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gloria (2014)$15,26236%2926$526$274,1702Roadside Attractions
2Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$8,573118%77-25$111$8,153,58210Weinstein Company
3At Middleton$3,3824%20--$169$40,4041Anchor Bay / Freestyle
4Knights of Badassdom$1,836442%11-2$167$70,8552eOne Films US
5Lee Daniels' The Butler$1,281-13%52-49$25$116,626,88425Weinstein Company
6All Is Lost$1,164-39%25-5$47$6,247,36716Roadside Attractions
7Out of the Furnace$1,12312%36-38$31$11,328,9619Relativity Media
8Love Is in the Air$3923%6--$65$5,7091Focus World