Box office report: The Martian back at No. 1 as newcomers flop

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box office report: The Martian back at No. 1 as newcomers flop.

In a weekend filled with five new wide releases, it was the holdovers that came out on top, with The Martian retaking first place in its fourth weekend.“Steve Jobs,” “The Last Witch Hunter,” “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” “Rock the Kasbah” and “Jem and the Holograms” all fell short, with only “Witch Hunter” cracking $10 million. “Kasbah” and “Jem” now rank among the worst openings in movie history.

Indeed, the movie “Steve Jobs,” which expanded to 2,493 theaters this weekend after its limited release earlier this month, fell well short of analysts’ expectations, despite the Oscar buzz over the film that follows the Apple Inc. A Paramount Pictures maneuver involving the latest “Paranormal Activity” movie appeared to leave millions of dollars in ticket sales on the table. Instead, holdovers “The Martian” and “Goosebumps” came in first and second place, respectively. “The Martian” grossed an estimated $15.9 million in the U.S. and Canada, bringing its total to an impressive $166 million. “Goosebumps” held strong in its second week, collecting $15.5 million for a cumulative $43.7 million. “Bridge of Spies” fell only 26% and grossed an additional $11.4 million in third place.

AAPL, +3.10% co-founder through three product launches. 20th Century Fox’s FOXA, +1.07% space epic “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, came in at No. 1 over the weekend. Steve Jobs, which had an extremely promising start after opening in limited release to the best per-theater average of the year, failed to translate that to nationwide success, placing seventh for the weekend and only earning an estimated $7.3 million in 2,493 theaters. The film, based on Andy Weir’s novel of a NASA astronaut fighting to survive on Mars, also stars Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Mara. Having already pulled in $154.8 million through Friday, according to Box Office Mojo, the Oscar-buzzing film is set to make its China debut next month, where it should perform well; the China National Space Administration plays a major role in the film. “Goosebumps” continues to perform well at the box office. But The Ghost Dimension, which earned a C CinemaScore, also opened on about half the number of screens as the previous entries in the Paranormal Activity series, as this was the first film to premiere under Paramount’s flexible release plan, which allows the studio to move up the home entertainment release.

Of the new arrivals, audiences liked “Steve Jobs” best, giving it an “A-” grade, according to the CinemaScore market research firm. “Jem” received a “B+” and “Witch Hunter” and “Kasbah” each got a “B-.” “Paranormal” received a “C.” The sharp decline did not appear to be the result of fading interest — pre-release surveys indicated a solid amount of moviegoer enthusiasm — but rather a shortage of theaters. Jem’s $1.3 million debut and Kasbah’s $1.5 million make them the third and fourth worst wide-release openings in box office history, clocking in behind 2012’s Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and 2008’s Delgo ($511,920).

Three of the four major American theater chains refused to play the film after Paramount decided to make “The Ghost Dimension” available on fast-growing digital services just 17 days after they leave most theaters in return for a cut of digital revenue. Theaters typically insist on a 90-day exclusive window to play new films. “We are hopeful that eliminating the gap between the theatrical window and the digital window will yield significant additional revenue,” Rob Moore, Paramount’s vice chairman, said in an email on Sunday. Universal is hoping that the art film, which cost $30 million to make and at least that much to market, will benefit in the weeks ahead from positive word of mouth and early traction on the annual film awards circuit.

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