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Sunday, November 1, 2015

(EXCLUSIVE) #BoxOffice Report: #Burnt, #OurBrandIsCrisis Get Burned

October's new releases continue their disastrous run.

Story by Matt Cummings

Although the weather has begun its transition into Fall, someone has apparently forgotten to tell moviegoers that it's time to celebrate by seeing newer releases. This week's top 5 welcomed only one new film, while three others continued their 'dominance' in the absence of anything better. In fact, the top spots - The Martian ($10.7m), Goosebumps ($9.2m), and Bridge of Spies ($7.6m) - haven't changed their positions since last weekend. Add Hotel Transylvania 2 at No. 5, and the only newcomer to make a dent was Bradley Cooper's Burnt at $4.7m.

But the bigger news continues to be Hollywood's inability to draw significant amounts of moviegoers to newer releases.

How bad have October's releases fared? Just consider the following: seven major releases (those premiering on 2,000+ screens) had total openings of just $54.8m. That's only $500k over what The Martian itself made when it premiered on October 2nd. Add the Sandra Bullock drama Our Brand is Crisis to that list and you're still not at $60m. We didn't include Steve Jobs here because it had already premiered on 60 theaters before expanding nationwide. Its numbers have also been disappointing, taking in just $7.1m in its 2,000-screen bow.

Here's a breakdown of each opening, as provided by BoxOfficeMojo and ProBoxOffice:
  • The Last Witch Hunter: $10,812,861
  • Pan: $15,315,435
  • Crimson Peak: $13,143,310
  • Paranormal Activity 6: $8,070,493
  • Rock The Kasbah: $1,470,592
  • Jem and the Holograms: $1,375,320
  • Burnt: $4,700,000
  • Our Brand Is Crisis: $2,800,000
    TOTAL: $57,688,011

    The news isn't all bad: the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg Cold War drama Bridge of Spies opened at $15.3m ($47.2m overall), while Jack Black's Goosebumps scared up $23.6m ($54m overall). All three have enjoyed steady business, dropping less than 44% each weekend - a rarity in the industry - as audiences usually fail to revisit films they've already seen.

    But the key to their prosperity has come in large part because audiences have failed to support newer films. Critics haven't helped: only two have received Rotten Tomatoes ratings above 50% (Steve Jobs and Crimson Peak), which seems to have had an effect on whether moviegoers will test the water with unfamiliar titles. Another stinging fact: Burnt, Our Brand is Crisis, and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse ($10m combined) took in less than The Martian ($10.7m). No new release received a score above 33%. While Scouts has the possibility of being an underground gem, Burnt was supposed to a moneymaker for Cooper, while Brand was branded for an Oscar run.

    Light at the End?
    Fortunately, all of this is about to change: the newest James Bond film SPECTRE is premiering November 6th, and the final Hunger Games installment arrives on the 20th. Both should make more than The Martian's opener, which was the highest in nearly 11 weeks (Compton's Most Wanted made just over $60m during the August 15th weekend). Yikes.

    Discuss this story with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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