NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Estimates: 'The Martian' ($15.9M) and 'Goosebumps' ($15.5M) Battle for First Place; 'The Last Witch Hunter' ($10.8M), 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension' ($8.2M) and 'Steve Jobs' ($7.3M) All Disappoint

on October 24, 2015

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Sunday Update: With all five of this weekend's wide releases disappointing to various degrees, Fox's The Martian and Sony's Goosebumps continued to lead the box office. Weekend estimates for The Martian and Goosebumps are separated by just $400,000, so the race for first place this weekend won't be completely decided until actuals are released on Monday.

The Martian took in an estimated $15.90 million this weekend. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down a slim 25 percent. After losing a bit of momentum last weekend, The Martian re-stabilized very nicely this weekend due in part to this weekend's new releases collectively being even softer than expected. The Martian has grossed an impressive $166.36 million in 24 days. The film is currently running 13 percent ahead of the $147.04 million last year's Interstellar grossed after 24 days of wide release and 17 percent behind the $199.65 million 24-day gross of 2013's Gravity.

Goosebumps followed closely behind with an estimated $15.50 million. The 3D horror comedy starring Jack Black was down 34 percent from last weekend's debut. Goosebumps experienced a solid second weekend hold and likely got an extra boost this weekend from Halloween falling next Saturday. The ten-day take for Goosebumps stands at $43.71 million. That is in line with pre-release expectations and places the film 26 percent ahead of the $34.80 million ten-day start of last year's Ouija (which fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $10.74 million).

Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies also held up nicely this weekend with an estimated third place take of $11.37 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks decreased only 26 percent from last weekend. Bridge of Spies has grossed a promising $32.58 million in ten days. That places the film 21 percent behind the $41.04 million ten-day gross of 2004's The Terminal (which fell 31 percent in its second weekend to take in $13.14 million). Bridge of Spies is likely to continue to hold up well going forward thanks in part to strong word of mouth.

Lionsgate's The Last Witch Hunter delivered the weekend's top debut with an estimated fourth place take of $10.83 million. The Vin Diesel led action film opened below pre-release expectations and an underwhelming 43 percent below the $19.03 million debut of 2013's Riddick. Like Riddick, The Last Witch Hunter is likely to be front-loaded. The Last Witch Hunter received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 54 percent; neither of which is an encouraging sign going forward. It should be noted that The Last Witch Hunter carried the largest price tag of this weekend's five new releases.

Hotel Transylvania 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $9.00 million. Sony's Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film declined just 29 percent from last weekend, as like Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania 2 likely also received a boost from family audiences who wanted to catch the film before the arrival of Halloween next weekend. Hotel Transylvania 2 continues to impress with $148.29 million in 31 days. That places the film 14 percent ahead of the $130.38 million 31-day take of 2012's Hotel Transylvania.

Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was even softer than already expected this weekend with an estimated sixth place debut of $8.20 million. Moviegoers clearly had no desire for a sixth installment of the low budget horror franchise and the decision to shorten the film's theatrical window before it quickly arrives on VOD (which resulted in the film playing in a relatively modest 1,656 locations) didn't help matters either. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension debuted a disappointing 55 percent below the $18.34 million debut of last year's Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. While The Marked Ones opened in 1,211 more locations than The Ghost Dimension, it didn't have the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions that The Ghost Dimension has. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension received a soft C rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of just 41 percent.

After a promising two-week start in platform release, Universal's Steve Jobs stumbled as it expanded into wide release with an estimated seventh place take of just $7.27 million. The Danny Boyle directed drama starring Michael Fassbender was the weekend's biggest disappointment when taking into account expectations. Despite strong critical reviews, the film's appeal with moviegoers in major metropolitan areas clearly isn't transferring over to moviegoers throughout the rest of North America. This weekend's performance for Steve Jobs barely outpaced the $6.71 million debut of 2013's Jobs (which was received far less favorably by critics) and was 40 percent softer than the recent $12.15 million wide expansion of Sicario. The 17-day total for Steve Jobs stands at $9.98 million. Word of mouth does appear to be positive for the film, as it received an A- rating on CinemaScore and currently boasts an 81 percent Flixster audience score.

Meanwhile, Open Road's Rock the Kasbah and Universal's Jem and the Holograms both downright flopped this weekend with respective estimated starts of only $1.51 million and $1.32 million. Both films performed below their already soft pre-release expectations. The Bill Murray led Rock the Kasbah was hampered by poor critical reviews and from the immense current competition for adult moviegoers. Jem and the Holograms didn't appeal to fans of the 1980s animated television series and didn't have much potential to begin with. Rock the Kasbah received a B- rating on CinemaScore, while Jem and the Holograms received a stronger B+ rating.

Saturday Update: Fox reports that The Martian eased 31 percent from last Friday to $4.35 million yesterday, pulling off a somewhat surprising repeat in first place yet again. That gives the hit film a 21-day domestic haul of $154.8 million as the film continues to enjoy strong word of mouth deep into its run. BoxOffice is projecting a $14.7 million weekend, which could put it in a close race for first place over the frame.

Sony's Goosebumps was off just 46 percent from opening day last week to $3.95 million on Friday. With a healthy eight-day running total of $32.2 million, the film is trending 15 percent ahead of last year's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The studio is projecting a sophomore weekend in the realm of $14.8 million, which could give it another first place finish over the three-day frame.

Lionsgate's The Last Witch Hunter bowed to $3.8 million on Friday, an underwhelming start for the Vin Diesel-led fantasy/action pic. By comparison, its opening day came in 48 percent lower than Riddick's $7.32 million two years ago. Early word of mouth is leaning negative with a 54 percent Flixster score as of this morning, on top of a mere 15 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics. BoxOffice projects a $10 million opening weekend.

Bridge of Spies also continues to show off positive word of mouth as it declined just 38 percent from opening day last Friday. The Spielberg-Hanks drama earned $3.324 million yesterday, giving it an eight-day cume of $24.54 million. BoxOffice is projecting a solid $10.7 million second weekend.

As part of a controversial release strategy, Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension opened to $3.45 million in 1,656 locations yesterday. That easily marks a new low for the series as it falls 62 percent below The Marked Ones' $8.72 million opening day in January 2014 (which also set a franchise low at the time). Still, under the increasingly famous Jason Blum low-budget production model, and with marketing costs likely much lower than usual this time around, it's hard to view Ghost Dimension as a financial failure right now. With 40 percent on Flixster and 14 percent from RT critics, this sixth and final chapter of the series probably won't be around in theaters for very long. BoxOffice projects a $6.9 million opening weekend.

Unfortunately, the nationwide expansion of Steve Jobs isn't panning out as expected. After two successful weeks in platform release, the strongly reviewed film earned just $2.43 million on Friday from 2,493 theaters. To put that into perspective, it falls below the $2.6 million opening day of the Ashton Kutcher-led Jobs back in August 2013. With the aforementioned critical response (86 percent) and positive early reactions from audiences (81 percent), it's clear that demand for yet another film about the tech icon just wasn't there among most paying customers despite a strong ensemble cast led by Michael Fassbender. The film's buzz could create some back-loading as it still hopes to contend during awards season, but it will need some help from casual audiences going forward. Universal itself is projecting close to a $7.1 million weekend.

Meanwhile, this weekend's remaining new releases equally flopped. Rock the Kasbah posted a $530,000 opening day and appears headed for a $1.7 million opening weekend with negative word of mouth (44 percent) and reviews (8 percent) holding it down. Lastly, Jem and the Holograms pulled $458,000 in its first day and should reach $1.15 million this weekend according to Universal. Its reviews are similarly sour (48 percent on Flixster; 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).

Follow BoxOffice on Sunday for updated weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: It's a bad weekend for newcomers. According to sources, here's how things are shaping up this weekend:

The Martian: $13 million-$14 million
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension: $10.5 million
The Last Witch Hunter: $9.5 million
Steve Jobs: $9 million
Jem and the Holograms: $2.5 million
Rock the Kasbah: $2 million 

Friday Update #1: Sources report this weekend's new releases got off to generally soft starts last night. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension led the way with an estimated $600,000 from 1,000 locations. That's over 29 percent less than Sinister 2's $850,000 back in August, although that film opened in twice as many theaters. The previous Paranormal entry, The Marked Ones earned $1.2 million in its Thursday debut back in January 2014 -- on its way to an $18.3 million weekend. A weekend south of $10 million looks very likely for Ghost Dimension.

Meanwhile, Vin Diesel's The Last Witch Hunter pulled a mediocre $525,000 -- less than half of Dracula Untold's $1.3 million Thursday start last October. It, too, could struggle to top $10 million this weekend unless Diesel's fans keep turning out despite poor reviews.

The film expected to win the weekend overall is Steve Jobs. It pulled an estimated $294,000 from 1,748 locations last night. Given the film's two-week platform release beforehand, plus its nature as an adult-driven film unlikely to generate significant rush-out demand on a Thursday night with significant competition in the market already, comparisons aren't particularly useful at this point. Universal was previously estimating a mid-teens opening for the strongly reviewed film, which seems likely so far. Should that hold, a close weekend race with Goosebumps for first place may be in store.

Meanwhile, Rock the Kasbah ($75,000) and Jem and the Holograms ($34,000) were unfortunately dead on arrival last night. The former should have an advantage over the weekend with a target older audience.

More as it comes.

Tags: The Martian, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Jem and the Holograms, The Last Witch Hunter, Steve Jobs, Rock the Kasbah, Goosebumps, north-america

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