Monday, October 19, 2015

'Goosebumps' leads pack of new releases, 'Bridge of Spies' solid, 'Crimson Peak' flops at weekend box office

The two-week reign of The Martian ended this weekend thanks to R.L. Stine and the crew at Columbia. Goosebumps, the $58 million horror comedy, finished in first place with $23.5 million and an "A" Cinemascore, which indicates that audiences very much enjoyed this flick. Sony kept their predictions pretty low for the film, but the target market of kids raised Goosebumps above its target. The PG rating and the star power of Jack Black was a good marketing pitch for Sony, and it with good word of mouth and little competition, Goosebumps might be able to reach the heights of $75-$80 million. Very solid numbers for an original horror comedy and if the international numbers are strong, I can see a sequel being produced.

The Martian took a slightly harder tumble this weekend, dropping 42% to second place. The Ridley Scott space epic snagged $21.5 million, which was enough to raise its total to $143.7 million. Overseas, the film has been performing strong as well, grossing $175.4 million for a total worldwide gross of $319.1 million. Whether or not it can approach the totals of Gravity and Interstellar is still up for debate, but there's no question that The Martian is one of the biggest hits of the fall season so far. For some reason, I have yet to write my review but it is coming very soon. All you need to know is that it's one of the best movies of the year. Go see it if you haven't already.

Steven Spielberg's first film in three years, Bridge of Spies, finished in third place with $15.8 million. That's one of Spielberg's lower openings, but don't count it out yet- his Oscar favorites almost always rely on word of mouth. And for Bridge of Spies, the buzz is very good. Fans gave it an "A" Cinemascore, and on Rotten Tomatoes, the film stands at a fantastic 93%. Oscar buzz hasn't been as strong as it was for Lincoln, but I have no doubt that Tom Hanks and Spielberg will be in the conversation come January. However, competition for the Cold War thriller over the next few weeks is stiff- Universal's Steve Jobs is coming down the pipeline next week, Our Brand is Crisis hits the week after, and a bunch of limited release contenders debut after that. But if Bridge of Spies sticks, it'll end up close to $100 million.

Crimson Peak was the final wide release of the weekend, and unfortunately, the odd man out. Guillermo del Toro's Gothic horror film debuted in fourth place, pulling in a paltry $12.8 million. The $55 million flick, which stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, disappointed in both America and in overseas markets, where it only grossed $13.4 million. Audiences were lukewarm on the film, awarding it a lackluster "B-" Cinemascore. Critics enjoyed it a little bit more (it currently stands at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I don't see this film gaining much traction. It will be interesting to see if del Toro gets many big-budget features after both Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak failed to generate interest. He's set to direct a small film next, but he does have other large budget films set up for the future.

Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 continued to be the surprise hit of the fall, grossing $12.2 million in fifth place. The animated comedy has made $136.4 million and will likely top the original's $148.3 million total by the end of next weekend. Sony has had a rough run lately, but this will provide a lone bright spot for the studio. Unfortunately, while Sony is gaining a bit of ground, Warner Bros. is still struggling. Pan fell 61.7% to sixth place for the weekend and brought in $5.8 million. The big-budget flop has made $25.7 million with a massive price tag of $150 million. A huge loss is coming for Warner Bros. in the near future.

In seventh place, The Intern kept its sleeper hit run rolling with $5.4 million. The Nancy Meyers dramedy has made $58.7 million so far, a relatively solid total. Close behind was Sicario, which finished in eighth place with $4.5 million. The bleak hitman drama has made $34.6 million so far and will probably finish with $40 million. Christian drama Woodlawn, which received an "A+" Cinemascore from audiences, took in $4.1 million in its debut frame in ninth place. Not as strong as War Room or God's Not Dead, but pretty good overall. And finally, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the top ten with $2.75 million. The film has made a disappointing $75.4 million thus far.

As for the limited releases of the weekend, Room grossed $120,000 in 4 theaters, a very solid total, while Truth failed with $76,646 in 6 theaters. Room will continue to expand as its Oscar buzz grows, but Truth may have just sealed its awards fate over the weekend. Finally, Netflix-released Beasts of No Nation took in $50,699 in 31 theaters. That's not a very good amount, but the film simultaneously released on Netflix in millions of homes across the country. The streaming numbers will determine the bleak and beautiful war drama's fate.

Next weekend sees the release of Steve Jobs, Jem and the Holograms, The Last Witch Hunter, Rock the Kasbah and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, as well as the limited release of Burnt and Suffragette. Here are my predictions:

1. Steve Jobs- $17.8 million
2. Jem and the Holograms- $16 million
3. Goosebumps- $14 million
4. The Martian- $13.8 million
5. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension- $12 million
6. Rock the Kasbah- $10.8 million
7. Bridge of Spies- $10.5 million
8. The Last Witch Hunter- $9 million
9. Hotel Transylvania 2- $7.9 million
10. Crimson Peak- $6 million

Image Credits: Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Flickering Myth, Joblo

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