October 17, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Goosebumps” Has Early Lead, “Bridge of Spies” Solid, “Crimson Peak” Bleeds


There’s a lot of new product in the market this weekend, which will drive up multiplex totals, but nothing is really breaking through.  The battle at the top looks like it will be close between GOOSEBUMPS (Columbia/Sony) and THE MARTIAN (TSG/20th), both of which should come in at $23-24M.  Goosebumps has the early lead, with $7.2M on Friday compared to $6.5M for The Martian, but new openings tend to be frontloaded, which should even things out by Sunday.  It’s a mildly successful start for Goosebumps, which has the advantage of holding the kid audience to itself until The Peanuts Movie arrives early next month, although it will be hurt by the fact that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which will leave its target audience with much else to do.  For The Martian, this weekend’s drop should be under 40%, which again isn’t quite at Gravity‘s torrid pace (a 31% Weekend 3 drop), but should still get the film to $145M by Sunday, with a fair chance of reaching $200M.

BRIDGE OF SPIES (DreamWorks/20th/Disney) is intended for a long, steady run at the box office built around its older core audience, and its likely $16M weekend (after a $5.5M Friday) is a solid start that compares to the $17.2M opening for the similarly skewing The Intern even though they’re in different genres.  Bridge should be in the Oscar conversation albeit not as a frontrunner, and will hope to reach $75M+.

The weekend’s disappointment is CRIMSON PEAK (Legendary/Universal), Guillermo del Toro’s passion project that’s too bloody for the romance audience and too purple for horror fans.  It had a $5.6M opening day, and will likely tail down quickly, with $13-14M for the weekend.  On a $55M production cost (meaning $150M+ with worldwide marketing), it has a long road ahead to hit breakeven.

The other somewhat disturbing news of the box office weekend is STEVE JOBS (Legendary/Universal), which expanded to 60 theatres this week and which is already running out of some steam.  After a huge $130K per-theatre average in NY/LA last weekend, it’s headed for a $25K average in what’s still a tiny release.  Compare that to the $55K average that The Grand Budapest Hotel had when it reached 66 theatres, or even the $37K average Blue Jasmine had at 50, and Steve Jobs seems to be more of a niche title, with a result akin to the $28K average Birdman had at 50.  Birdman eventually reached $42.3M, but that was after a 6-month run that culminated in a Best Picture Oscar, and it’s certainly not clear at this point whether Steve Jobs will have that kind of longevity.

The Christian-aimed WOODLAWN (Pure) isn’t crossing over to mainstream audiences, with $1.5M on Friday and a likely $4-5M weekend, nowhere near the recent $11.4M opening for War Room.

The most notable of the weekend’s limited openings was ROOM (A24), which should near a $30K average at 4 NY/LA theatres (although that’s boosted somewhat by in-theatre Q&As).  TRUTH (Sony Classics), on the other hand, is off to an awful start considering its pedigree and the attention it’s garnered, heading for a $8K average at 6.  BEASTS OF NO NATION (Netflix) is really in theatres just as an adjunct to its streaming premiere, and it may not average $2K at 31.

Meanwhile, both of last weekend’s wide openings remained disastrous.  PAN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) crashed by 67% from last Friday to $1.7M, and now looks like it may not even hit $40M in the US after a $6M weekend.  THE WALK (TriStar/Sony) fared even worse, down 72% from last Friday to $320K and looking at a $1M weekend and a total US take that won’t reach $15M.

Despite the arrival of Goosebumps, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Columbia/Sony) held very well, down 38% Friday-to-Friday to $3.3M, and with a $13.5M weekend ahead that puts it on track for $160M in the US.  THE INTERN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) is also solid, down 36% to $1.7M on Friday, with a $6M weekend and $70M US total ahead.  SICARIO (Lionsgate) dropped 43% Friday-to-Friday to $1.3M, and should have a $4.5M weekend and $45M US total.


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."