The Martian Box Office: Stays On Top

Published: October 12, 2015

The Martian Box Office: Stays On Top, Elsewhere, Robert Zemeckis’ ‘The Walk’ also finds itself in a free-fall, while ‘Steve Jobs’ nabs one of the top location averages of all time in limited launch; ‘Pan’ also struggles overseas.
Joe Wright’s big-budget Pan is looking like a major loss for Warner Bros. after opening to $15.5 million from 3,515 theaters in North America, a disastrous start for a film that cost $150 million to make.

Instead, Ridley Scott’s The Martian won the weekend race with a better-than-expected $37 million from 3,854 locations after declining a mere 32 percent in its second outing for a domestic total of $108.7 million. The space epic, starring Matt Damon, also continued to dazzle overseas, earning another $58.1 million from 74 markets for an early foreign total of $119 million and global total of $227.7 million.

Among new markets, The Martian earned a massive $12.1 million in South Korea, the largest Fox opening of all time and an industry best for the month of October. In Germany, it opened to $7.1 million, two times larger than Gravity and 27 percent ahead of Interstellar.

The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2 both beat Pan overseas. Pan opened to a muted $20.5 million from 52 markets representing 40 percent of the foreign marketplace, putting its early foreign total at $40.6 million (it opened two weekends ago in Australia). Unless it does big business internationally, Warners is facing a steep loss. One hope is China, where Pan rolls out Oct. 22. So far, it is doing best in Latin America, while struggling in Europe.

In the U.S., Pan also got beat by Sony’s rival family offering Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in $20.3 million from 3,768 theaters in its third weekend for a North American total of $116.8 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 also remains a formidable force overseas, grossing a strong $22.7 million internationally from 59 markets for a foreign cume of $90.9 million and worldwide total of $207.7 million.

In short, families didn’t show much interest in Wright’s Peter Pan origins tale, starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and newcomer Levi Miller. The film received scathing reviews and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. Warners has had a tough ride at the box office this year, and Pan furthers its woes after box-office losers Jupiter Ascending and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The studio declined official comment on Pan, but one distribution source said “the movie failed to bring in an audience of any size.”

Originally, the live-action family title was set to open this past July and be a prominent summer player, but Warners knew there were problems and pushed its release back at the eleventh hour, saying reshoots were needed. The film is a special-effects extravaganza, with virtually no real sets.


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