Weekend Box Office: ‘Martian,’ ‘Goosebumps Top As ‘Last Witch Hunter …

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘Martian,’ ‘Goosebumps’ in Close Battle for No. 1; ‘Steve Jobs’ Hits Major Glitch.

Four new films, including “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and Vin Diesel’s “The Last Witch Hunter,” crowded into theaters this weekend and were swiftly pulverized and left for dead. The film, which is also considered to be gaining traction in the year-end awards race, looks to be heading for more than $14 million over the weekend, to bring its new domestic total to somewhere around $165 million. “Goosebumps,” starring Jack Black in an adaptation of the popular series of children’s books by R.L. Late afternoon estimates showed “Steve Jobs” at well under $10 million while “Jem” will finish under $3 million and “Rock the Kasbah” heading for a minsicule $1.5 million. In a surprise pre-Halloween twist, Ridley Scott’s The Martian and family entry Goosebumps are in a close race for No. 1 despite a glut of new offerings, including the nationwide expansion of Steve Jobs. Their failures allowed a trio of holdovers — “The Martian,” “Goosebumps,” and “Bridge of Spies” — to retain the top three spots on the box office chart.

Early Friday estimates showed Fox’s fourth weekend of “The Martian” with a slight edge on Sony’s second weekend of “Goosebumps” with about $14 million each for the frame. Projections show The Martian — which won the Friday race with $4.4 million — and Goosebumps grossing in the $14 million-$15 million range for the weekend. Universal’s Oscar hopeful “Steve Jobs” failed to boot up in its wide expansion, three other wide openers tanked and the “Paranormal Activity” franchise finale’s grosses were gutted by theater owners angry over Paramount’s VOD release arriving just 17 days after its theatrical run. When the dust settled it was Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” in first place, adding $15.9 million to the Fox release’s impressive $166.4 million domestic haul.

Matt Damon’s astronaut adventure looks likely to take in as much as $4.5 million on Friday, its 22nd day in multiplexes, and wind up the weekend with a $165 million domestic total. Hopes were high for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender as the iconic innovator, but the Universal film may gross $7.2 million from 2,493 theaters as it rolls out everywhere following a limited release in select theaters over the past two weekends. It’s a story of sorcery seriously lacking in cinematic magic.” — Katherine McLaughlin, The List Rotten: “Imagine a parallel universe where Harry Potter got pumped up on steroids and you’ll have an idea of what to expect from ‘The Last Witch Hunter.’” — Stella Papamichael, Digital Spy Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is able to take seemingly unfilmable true stories — about the founding of Facebook , say, or the front office of the Oakland A’s — and turn them into the stuff of riveting drama. The sixth and final entry in the lucrative low-budget horror series was in just 1,656 theaters, about half the number previous films in the franchise rolled out in.

But critics say what really makes “Steve Jobs” something special is Michael Fassbender’s uncanny performance in the title role — he captures the tech mogul’s charisma as well as his less attractive attributes. In terms of other movies written by Sorkin, Moneyball opened to $19.5 million in late September 2011, while The Social Network debuted to $22.4 million. The $15 million comedy had been expected to pull in $6 million for Open Road this weekend, but the final number is heading for under $2 million with a quiet $500,000 on Friday.

Set around three of Jobs’ major product launches, the film also veers into the Apple head’s sometimes rocky interpersonal relations. “Steve Jobs” is Certified Fresh at 85 percent on the Tomatometer; here are a few of the reviews: Fresh: “In many ways the film reflects its hero’s brilliance. To be clear, these weren’t well-reviewed films. “Jem and the Holograms” was the highest of the wide openers on Rotten Tomatoes with an anemic 20 percent positive. The holiday falls on a Saturday, the busiest day for moviegoing, so studios were hoping to steer clear of what is shaping up to be a dead period by pushing lots of new content into this weekend.

It’s a scintillating construction, though one that sometimes feels like a product launch in its own right.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal Fresh: “The amazing Fassbender, on screen every moment, transforms into Jobs. The movie, starring Diesel as an immortal witch hunter who attempts to stop a plague from destroying New York City, is on course to gross $9 million-$10 million from 3,082 theaters for a fourth-place finish. That wouldn’t have been a bad result, since the horror film is only playing in 1,656 theaters, compared to nearly 3,000 locations for the last Paranormal Activity film. Many cinema owners are refusing to play the film because of a bold deal between Paramount, AMC and Canada’s Cineplex to make it available in homes earlier than usual.

Rock the Kasbah stars Murray as Richie Lanz, a rock manager past his prime who accompanies a performer (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour in war-ridden Afghanistan. Too bad, then, that, critics say the film is a serious miscalculation on many levels, from its inconsistent tone to its simplistic view of the locals. When she bails, he comes across a young singer (Leem Lubany) who could be the biggest discovery of his career, and arranges for her to appear on Afghan Star, the equivalent of American Idol. The talky drama always faced commercial headwinds — something that caused one studio, Sony, to pass on the project, before producer Scott Rudin found a backer in Universal. The live-action movie is projecting a $1.1 million weekend from 2,413 theaters — the worst opening of all time for a major studio release going out in 2,000 or more theaters.

Ultimately the buzz didn’t translate into box office, and making it unlikely that “Steve Jobs” will earn back its $30 million budget and millions more in marketing costs. If there’s any solace, it’s that Universal spent $5 million to make the film, starring Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis.

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