The Martian came into the weekend amidst huge expectations and great reviews from earlier screening at the Toronto Film Festival. And oh boy, did it live upto those expectations or what! The Martian is estimated to have earned $55 million over its first weekend in North America, barely missing out on the October opening weekend record. And guess which movie holds that record? Of course, another space adventure, 2013’s Gravity which had a $55.8 million opening. Both the movies have similar production budgets, with the $108 million of The Martian being only $8 million more. Now Gravity had a fantastic run after the first weekend, hardly dropping by even 50% in subsequent weekends, eventually earning $274 million in North America and $723 million worldwide. The Martian too has strong reviews – 94% on Rottentomatoes – but even if we be a little conservative in our estimates, the movie should at least cross $500 million worldwide which will still make it a smashing success for Fox (it has already earned $100 million worldwide). Let’s compare it to another space saga, last year’s The Interstellar. Ridley Scott’s The Martian has a better domestic opening than Christopher Nolan’s movie ($47.5 million) and its budget is also lower than that of Interstellar ($165 million). By the end of its theatrical run, Interstellar had grossed $675 million worldwide thanks to a great overseas run. Going by these numbers, the $500 million minimum figure for The Martian seems easily achievable, though it would be more interesting to see how much further the movie carries on. Fantastic stuff!
The Martian was the only new wide release of the weekend in North America. However, Sicario did expand its theatrical count by more than 2,500 theatres and grossed $12 million over the weekend. The movie has now earned $15 million in North America and an additional $10 million overseas to make for a tally of $25 million as against its production budget of $30 million. Reviews of Sicario have been fantastic and so it could very well find longer legs than most cop/FBI thriller movies and hit break-even. I do hope it manages a bit more than that as it seems to be a great piece of work – 93% on Rottentomatoes – which deserves to do well.
Last week’s Hotel Transylvania 2 dropped by only 32% in its second weekend, which is absolutely fantastic, even better than the 36% fall of its predecessor. The movie has earned $150 million already worldwide, and going at this rate it will easily eclipse the $358 million made by the first film. There’s a third movie on the way, surely! Nancy Meyer’s The Intern too had a strong second weekend with only a 35% drop. This light comedy movie has grossed $72 million worldwide so far, which is pretty good, and going by Meyer’s track record, I can still see it earning more than $200 million before its theatrical run ends. Sony’s The Walk opened only in Imax theatres but had a poor showing for some reason. It will expand next weekend across North America, and hopefully will fare better as the reviews have been great. Everest, which too had an only-Imax opening to begin with, is struggling in North America but is doing far better overseas, and has a decent tally of $137 million earned so far. You win some, you lose some, don’t you?
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. The Martian ($55.0 million)
2. Hotel Transylvania 2 ($33.0 million; second weekend)
3. Sicario ($12.1 million; third weekend)
4. The Intern ($11.6 million; second weekend)
5. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ($7.7 million; third weekend)