‘Goosebumps’ Tops Box Office with $23.5 Million

     October 18, 2015


Following its win over The Martian on Friday, Sony’s Goosebumps remained the number one box office draw in its first weekend in theatres. The PG-rated adaptation of R.L. Stine’s best-selling book series took in an estimated $23.5 million from 3,501 locations – slightly below expectations but good enough to keep The Martian in second.

Ahead of this weekend’s opening, projections for Goosebumps fell between $25 and $30 million. Had it reached the higher end of that spectrum, we could have drawn comparisons to young adult adaptations like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief ($31 million; 2010) or live-action/CGI family pics like Night at the Museum ($30.4 million; 2006). At the lower range we would have cited the horror comedy Zombieland ($24.7 million; 2009), though its R-rating would have made that particular comparison a bit of a stretch. In the end, Goosebumps wound up closest to Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, which opened with $23.7 million in 2011. Of course, that kid’s lit adaptation did not have the benefit of 3D screens, CGI effects, or a star like Jack Black to boost its grosses, but why let facts take the fun out of Goosebumps’ first-place victory?

Even with a less-than commanding debut, Goosebumps should still wind up a solid hit for Sony. The film received an ‘A’ from CinemaScore audiences, which should help it boost grosses leading up to Halloween weekend. The film was also budgeted modestly for an effects-heavy family pic. With a pricetag of $58 million, Goosebumps will turn a profit long before Pan: Warner Bros.’ $150 million box office misstep.

bridge-of-spies-posterThe continued strength of The Martian may be one reason Goosebumps was a bit slow out of the gate. The Ridley Scott feature shed 153 locations on its third weekend in theatres but still managed to hold onto 58% of its sophomore earnings. After 17 days, The Martian has earned $143.8 million in North America and $272.8 million worldwide – still less than Gravity at the same point in its run, but well ahead of last year’s Interstellar.

Opening in third place with a solid $15.38 million is Bridge of Spies. The PG-13 cold war thriller marks the fourth collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks. The pair last worked together on The Terminal, which opened with $19 million in June of 2004. Bridge of Spies may not have reached the same level (especially after factoring in inflation), but that is not an especially compelling narrative for this release. Along with Oscar winners Hanks and Spielberg, Bridge of Spies was written by Oscar winners Ethan and Joel Coen. DreamWorks/Disney is expecting a long run driven by word of mouth – not unreasonable given the film’s A CinemaScore and 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating.


Image via Universal Pictures

This weekend’s third new release also hails from a beloved director but, unlike Bridge of Spies, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak fell short of box office expectations. From 2,984 locations, Crimson Peak took in an estimated $12.85 million for a fourth place opening. That’s the lowest debut for del Toro (as director, producer, or writer) since 2011’s remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. The film’s opening also falls below pre-release expectations, which ranged from $15 to $25 million. The cast of Crimson Peak, including Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Mia Wasikowska, didn’t seem to impress audiences, who gave the gothic horror tale a disappointing B- CinemaScore.

The faith-based sports drama Woodlawn opened on the high end of expectations this weekend, earning an estimated $4.1 million from 1,500 locations. In a season full of dramas targeting Christian audiences, Woodlawn managed to double what 90 Minutes in Heaven earned in its debut last month. Even so, this is not another War Room. Woodlawn should drop out of the top ten by next weekend.

Overall box office earnings were down again this weekend, compared to 2014’s grosses. That’s a bit of a surprise given that the top film at this time last year was the WWII drama Fury (remember that one?). With another four titles scheduled to debut next weekend you’d think the box office had a good shot at getting ahead of 2014, but we’ll have to see. At this point, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension isn’t tracking much higher than Crimson Peak, though I expect that to change based solely on the good will that the once-mighty Halloween franchise has developed. The second strongest upcoming release seems to be The Last Witch Hunter, which should hit $15 million. As always, we’ll let you know what happens.

Here’s this weekend’s top ten, based on studio estimates:

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Goosebumps $23,500,000 $23.5
2.  The Martian $21,500,000 $143.8
3.  Bridge of Spies $15,380,000 $15.38
4.  Crimson Peak $12,850,000 $12.85
5.  Hotel Transylvania 2 $12,250,000 $136.4
6.  Pan $5,860,000 $25.7
7.  The Intern $5,405,000 $58.7
8.  Sicario $4,500,000 $34.6
9.  Woodlawn $4,100,000 $4.1
10.  Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $2,750,000 $75.4


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