Box Office: The Martian Kicks Off October With Monster $55 Million Weekend

You may have noticed there was no box office report last week. That was on account of our coverage of Fantastic Fest in Austin, where I saw 24 movies in a seven-day span. Everyone knew Hotel Transylvania 2 was going to win, so what was the point. Its opening actually bettered the original and showed that audiences are totally on board to see Adam Sandler movies, just as long as they don’t have to actually have to see him.

This weekend was another story. The Martian opened on 3,831 screens and finished with an estimated sum of $55 million. That opening places it second behind Gravity as the top opening for a fall release all time. With strong reviews (including our own recommendation) and word of mouth spreading from those who have either read the Andy Weir novel or seen the film, expect this one to have some legs and gross upwards of $170 million in the U.S.

Slipping to second was Hotel Transylvania 2, which recorded another $33 million to bring its 10-day total to $90.5 million (which is $19 million more than what its predecessor earned in its first 10 days back in 2012). Upcoming releases Pan and Goosebumps will factor in to Transylvania 2‘s earning potential, but it should be a top ten staple through the November 6th release of The Peanuts Movie.

The big mover at the box office was Lionsgate’s Sicario, which jumped from tenth place to third with its expansion from 59 screens to 2,620 screens. The expansion saw attendance increase by 603%. Its per-screen average dipped to $4,069, but that total was better than the Nancy Meyers comedy The Intern in its second weekend as well as franchise sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

Titles like War Room and The Perfect Guy have become minor successes for Sony Pictures. Both pictures cost an estimated $15 million combined and have made more than $113 million U.S. Universal Studios just keeps adding to its banner year with Everest‘s stellar performance overseas ($103 million so far) and M. Night Shyamalan’s $5 million pic The Visit raking in more than $75 million worldwide.

Just outside the top ten is Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk. Opening on 448 IMAX and large-format screens, the tightrope walk across New York’s World Trade Towers made $1.5 million. The film will expand to close to 3,000 screens this coming weekend.

Forecasting the weekend we have Warner Bros. bringing us a new Peter Pan movie, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice and Atonement), along with the horror comedy The Final Girls, 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, and the limited releases of Steve Jobs (9 screens in NY/LA) and the single-take crime drama Victoria.

Look for The Martian to retain its #1 spot.

Top 10 below.

01. The Martian – $55 Million
02. Hotel Transylvania 2 – $33 Million ($90.5m)
03. Sicario – $12 Million ($15m)
04. The Intern – $11.6 Million ($36.5m)
05. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – $7.65 Million ($63.2m)
06. Black Mass – $5.9 Million ($52.5m)
07. Everest – $5.5 Million ($33m)
08. The Visit – $3.95 Million ($57.7m)
09. War Room – $2.8 Million ($60.5m)
10. The Perfect Guy – $2.4 Million ($52.6m)

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