Weekend Box Office: A Little Life on Mars After All

As expected, Ridley Scott’s science-fiction disaster flick took the top spot at the box office, but that wasn’t the weekend’s only success story.

Narrowly missing the all-time October record of $55.7 million set by ‘Gravity’, ‘The Martian‘ claimed the second-highest October debut with $55 million. The 3D Matt Damon vehicle pulled in that total from 3,831 locations, giving it a stellar $14,357 per-screen average. This marks the second-highest debuts for both Damon and Scott. (Respectively, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum‘ and ‘Hannibal‘ are their biggest opening titles.) Overseas, the $108 million sci-fi movie opened in 49 medium-size markets from which it earned $45.2 million. With the international expansion set to spread throughout the next four months, ‘The Martian’ is likely to stay in global box office news for some time. This $100 million worldwide opening was just the beginning of what’s shaping up to be a long and lucrative haul.

In its second week, ‘Hotel Transylvania‘ only took a 32% dip in attendance and pulled in another $33 million. After ten days, the animated kids’ movie has grossed $90.5 million and is on its way to becoming Sony’s biggest hit of 2015 – that is, until ‘Spectre’ opens next month. With ‘Pan’ coming this weekend and ‘Goosebumps’ after that, ‘Transylvania’ will have a difficult time staying this strong.

Third place went to the nationwide expansion of ‘Sicario‘. While the $12 million weekend was definitely a win for Lionsgate, that success wasn’t quite on the same level that the film saw during its two weeks in limited release. Although its six-screen debut gave it the best per-screen average of the year (so far), its first weekend nationwide only resulted in a so-so $4,609 per-screen average. To date, the $30 million action-drama has earned $15 million domestically.

The Intern‘ dropped from second to fourth place in its second week, but – similarly to ‘Hotel Transylvania’ – saw a light drop in attendance. Only falling 35%, the Robert De Niro/Anne Hathaway dramedy added $11.6 million to its total. After ten days, the Nancy Meyers film has tallied $36.5 million.

Rounding out the Top 5 was three-week-old ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials‘ with $7.6 million. Fox’s $61 million YA adaptation sits with a domestic 17-day total of $63.2 million. Overseas, it has grossed a whopping $147.8 million. Given the worldwide total of $211 million, you can expect to see book #3 translated to the big screen at the close of next summer.

Robert Zemeckis’ new biographical drama ‘The Walk‘ kicked off its IMAX-exclusive release last Wednesday on 448 large format screens across North America. ‘Everest’ did the same thing one week prior to its nationwide debut, but ‘The Walk’ didn’t do quite as well. The high-wire act closed its opening weekend in eleventh place with $1.5 million and a not-so-great per-screen average of $3,460. After five days, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle has earned $1.9 million. Its nationwide expansion kicks off this Friday on standard 2D and 3D screens everywhere – but the underrated film truly demands to be seen in IMAX.

Fox Searchlight’s four-screen debut of documentary ‘He Named Me Malala‘ had a great kick-off with $56,000 and a per-screen average of $14,000. The already-planned platform release kicks off this weekend and will expand the picture to a higher-than-usual count for documentary films.

Lionsgate’s feature adaptation of the topical Oscar-winning documentary short ‘Freeheld‘ made $40,000 from its five-screen debut. That’s a decent start for the limited release. The film’s platform roll-out begins this coming weekend.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Martian’ (Fox) – $55,000,000

2. ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ (Sony) – $33,000,000

3. ‘Sicario’ (Lionsgate) – $12,075,000

4. ‘The Intern’ (Warner Bros.) – $11,620,000

5. ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ (Fox) – $7,650,000

6. ‘Black Mass’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,905,000

7. ‘Everest’ (Universal) – $5,510,000

8. ‘The Visit’ (Universal) – $3,950,000

9. ‘War Room’ (TriStar) – $2,800,000

10. ‘The Perfect Guy’ (Screen Gems) – $2,400,000


  1. Chris B

    What a perfect moment this would be for Ridley Scott to call it a career. Just hang it up and go out on a high note. He’s delivered (by most peoples accounts) one of the best movies he’s ever made, it’s a huge hit at the box office and it even happens to be the same genre that launched him to stardom in the first place. It’s like everything has come full circle. Just hand off the directing duties of the Prometheus sequel to one of your minions and be content you finished strong Ridley…walk away now…

    • Shannon Nutt

      I agree…maybe just produce from this point forward. Also, give the man an Best Director Oscar – he deserves it this time around.

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