Tuesday, October 27, 2015
It's one of the closest weekends ever as audiences return to Ridley Scott's epic.
Story by Matt CummingsThis weekend's box office reminded us of the old saying "Just Because It's New Doesn't Mean It's Great," as audiences stayed away from five new releases, while returning a familiar name to No. 1. Although we discussed the race this weekend on our Inside the Bucket podcast, SJF was unwilling to crown anyone No. 1 because the numbers were so close. In fact, the winner was eventually crowned by the smallest margin of the year - just $219,000. But its return to the top saw many new releases under perform, perhaps fairing worse than the pre-sale of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Martian with $15.7m. The Fox space survival film has endured with audiences for a variety of reasons: the terrific science behind the story, and the fact that Author Andy Weir's book doesn't take place in a vacuum, that journeying to Mars is no longer a question of if but of when. In fact, its meager 26.1% drop is almost unheard of for a film that's been out for four weeks, showing that audiences still have an appetite for smart, positive films about good people banding together. In fact, a purchase this weekend saw us watching the film in spaces once reserved for the bomb Crimson Peak, returning to XD, Atmos, and other big screen experiences. Since its release, The Martian has made an outstanding $167.4m. Slipping to No. 2 is the Jack Black kids comedy Goosebumps, taking in $15.525m. Again, that difference of $219,000 is the small difference between the top 2 all year, beating the July 3rd weekend of $535,000. The film has resonated with audiences, enjoying a 73/74 split on Rotten Tomatoes. It's one of the highest rated on that site, demonstrating continued audience support. Sony probably has a certified winner on its hands, as it's already made $43m in just two weeks of release. Steve Jobs took 6th and 7th respectively, both earning a combined $16.8m. That's probably less than the pre-sale drubbing of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, with IMAX numbers alone coming in at around $6.5m. Those brutal numbers underscores a painful reality that will plague theater owners this season: supposed 'prestige films' like Jobs may work for critics but not for the rest of us. Granted, it could see better numbers than this next weekend, but our review (read it HERE) exposed the film's odd pacing and thoroughly unlikable characters. And then there's Jem and The Holograms and the Bill Murray comedy Rock the Kasbah, both of which became the #5 and #4 all-time worst wide release campaigns in film history. At just $2.8 COMBINED, neither film managed to crack the top 10, joining an ignominious list of trash and revealing that even with minimum budgets and expectations, someone made two certified duds and probably knew that going in to production. We don't tend to link other stories here, but one from Forbes points out the problem quite well. One More Week of This Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.