October 18, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10/18/15


OPENINGS:  Considering that it’s based on a series of novels, GOOSEBUMPS (Columbia/Sony) was certainly intended to be the launch of a new franchise for Sony.  It took the weekend in the US with $23.5M and should hold well next week with no new family competition (things get tougher after that with Halloween and The Peanuts Movie arriving), but with a production cost of $60M (add at least $100M to that for worldwide marketing), it’s not clear whether a $75M US total will be enough to greenlight a sequel.  (Although Sony says it is.)  As of early Sunday afternoon LA time, the studio had not released its overseas numbers for the title, even though its other worldwide titles had been accounted for.

BRIDGE OF SPIES (DreamWorks/20th/Disney) is a longterm play, and its $15.4M start was as expected.  It will try to hold on into awards season and get some notice when the honors start being given out.  It has the advantage of being Disney’s only adult prestige play of the year (its other candidate is Inside Out), which should get it some studio support if the box office is there to justify it.  Bridge also had some scattered international openings, but 20th is holding off on releasing numbers on those.

CRIMSON PEAK (Legendary/Universal) isn’t a Pan-level disaster (it cost a relatively modest $55M to produce), but it’s a worldwide flop, with $12.9M in the US and $13.4M in 55 overseas markets.  It may struggle to reach $100M globally, which will put some unaccustomed red ink on Universal’s 2015 balance sheet.  Guillermo del Toro will probably have to wait a while before getting another one of his passion projects in front of the cameras, since the audience for extravagantly bloody R-rated gothic romances is clearly a limited one.

WOODLAWN (Pure) only attracted true believers with a $4.1M weekend.

SUFFRAGETTE (Focus/Universal) doesn’t arrive here until next week, and that will be in limited release, but it’s off to a sharp start in the UK, where it’s already earned $4.5M, a very promising launch for an arthouse title.

HOLDOVERS:  THE MARTIAN (TSG/20th) dropped 42% on its 3rd weekend to $21.5M, and with $145.8M to date, it now looks like it won’t have quite enough fuel to reach $200M in the US.  It’s still a tremendous hit, though, and also added $37M internationally for a $175.4M total, with territories including China and Japan still to come.  (That wasn’t enough to lead the overseas box office weekend, though, which bowed before the $43.5M launch of Ant-Man in China.)  Martian could be on its way to $500M worldwide.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Columbia/Sony) withstood the arrival of stablemate Goosebumps quite well, down 40% to $12.3M and a likely $160M US total.  It also added $30.6M to its overseas total of $131.1M, and is still awaiting China/Japan release.

THE INTERN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) and SICARIO (Lionsgate) continued their solid runs, respectively down 38% to $5.4M ($58.7M total) and down 41% to $4.5M ($34.7M total).

Last weekend’s wide openings were no less catastrophic this week, as PAN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) plunged 62% to $5.9M, with a $40M US total as far as it’s likely to get, and THE WALK (TriStar/Sony) down 68% to $1.2M, unlikely even to reach $15M in the US.  Things aren’t any better overseas, where Pan is at $47.1M after a $14.4M weekend, and The Walk has earned $17.4M after 2 weeks of wide release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  STEVE JOBS (Legendary/Universal) dominated this field with $1.6M after an expansion to 60 theatres, but its $26K per-theatre average is softer than one might have expected after its huge opening last week.  Its ultimate fate will obviously depend in large part on how it fares in awards season, but when it goes wide next weekend, it doesn’t seem likely to reach the $22.4M launch of The Social Network.  The newcomers were led by the acclaimed ROOM (A24), which had a solid start at 4 NY/LA theatres with a $30K average.  The same couldn’t be said of TRUTH (Sony Classics), which surprisingly got no traction at all, starting with a $13K average at 6 that was blah at best.  BEASTS OF NO NATION (Netflix) did nothing in theatres, averaging $1600 at 31, but we don’t really know how it’s doing, because Netflix (as usual) won’t release any metrics of its streaming views.  FREEHELD (Lionsgate) expanded badly to 148 theatres, averaging under $1000.  LABYRINTH OF LIES (Sony Classics) fared somewhat better, expanding to 46 with a $1700 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Most of the openings are aimed at teens:  JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS (Universal), THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (Summit/Lionsgate) and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION (Blumhouse/Paramount).  Adults will get the Bill Murray comedy ROCK THE KASBAH (Open Road), and as noted, the nationwide expansion of Steve Jobs.  Limited release award hopefuls include BURNT (Weinstein) and Suffragette.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."