‘The Martian’ Retains Box Office Title Over Columbus Day Weekend

     October 11, 2015


Columbus Day weekend isn’t one of your bigger box office holidays, but it can prove profitable for the right film. Argo opened strong over 2012’s holiday frame, even if it did have to settle for second place behind Taken 2. In fact, holdovers have topped new releases on each of the last five Columbus Day weekends. You have to go all the way back to Couples Retreat in 2009 to find a new title that dominated this particular box office frame. David Fincher’s Gone Girl claimed its second weekend at number one at this time last year and, in 2013, Gravity was the holdover on top. In keeping with recent history, this year’s Columbus Day title goes to The Martian. The Fox feature came close to the all-time October opening record one week ago and didn’t lose much momentum in its sophomore frame.

The Martian took in an estimated $37 million from 3,854 locations to claim its second consecutive box office victory. That represents a drop of just 33% and puts the film over the $100 million mark as of Sunday. So far, Hotel Transylvania 2 is the only other fall title to reach triple digit grosses. After ten days in theatres, The Martian is running 11% behind Gravity and 12% ahead of Interstellar at the same point in their box office runs.

pan-movie-poster-hugh-jackmanIf the Columbus Day holiday can prove profitable for the right film, then audiences clearly felt that Warner Bros.’ Pan was all wrong. In the studio’s defense, they originally planned to release the big budget origin take on Peter Pan this summer, but decided that the competition for family audiences was just too fierce. From 3,515 locations, Pan earned an estimated $15.5 million. That’s pretty low for a fantasy film, and shockingly low when you consider Pan was budgeted at around $150 million. On the other hand, expectations for the film were never very high. At this point W.B. has to hope that international audiences can help Pan make up some financial ground.

We told you yesterday that The Walk was not making much of an impression entering its first weekend in wide release. The Sony/TriStar feature originally launched in 448 IMAX and premium large format locations on September 30, but failed to generate much enthusiasm despite its positive reviews (86% on Rotten Tomatoes) and promising A- CinemaScore. The Walk brought in just $3.6 million from 2,506 locations this weekend, or about half of its very modest target.

In a much more auspicious debut, Universal’s Steve Jobs began its rollout in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. From four locations, the biopic earned an estimated $521,000, or $130,250 per screen. That’s the best per-theatre average since American Sniper claimed an average of $633,450 from four locations in December 2014.

This weekend’s overall box office gross was just $116 million, down from $147.4 million at this time last year. Looking ahead, The Martian should cede first place to the debut of Goosebumps next weekend. The big-screen adaptation of the R.L. Stine book series is projected to open with close to $25 million. Goosebumps’ fellow new releases, Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and horror pic Crimson Peak, should both come in around $15 million.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Martian $37,000,000 $108.7
2.  Hotel Transylvania 2 $20,300,000 $116.8
3.  Pan $15,530,000 $15.5
4.  The Intern $8,660,000 $49.5
5.  Sicario $7,350,000 $26.7
6.  Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $5,250,000 $70.6
7.  The Walk $3,650,000 $6.3
8.  Black Mass $3,130,000 $57.5
9.  Everest $3,030,000 $38.2
10.  The Visit $2,420,000 $61


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