Weekend Forecast: “The Martian” to Blast Into First Place

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Thanks to a great marketing campaign and widespread appeal, The Martian should easily take first with over $40M. The Walk  opens in limited release exclusively in IMAX 3D and Large Format screens, but got off to a very poor start on Wednesday. Another interesting new release is Attack on Titan: Part One, which got a surprisingly strong start despite a very small release.

The Martian opens exactly 2 years after Gravity, which is hardly a coincidence given the similarity in source material and marketing. The Martian doesn’t seem quite as immediately interesting or cinematic, but should still wind up with a solid opening. It’s also important  to remember that even if it gets off to a slow start, it will likely only make a quarter if not less of its total gross this weekend.

The Walk stars Joseph Gordon Levitt in the based-on-a-true-story flick about a man tight rope walking across the Twin Towers. The film opened in certain Large Format Theaters and IMAX 3D (for a total of 448 theaters)  but made just $240,000. That’s a very weak start given how it seemed like it needed to be seen in those larger theaters. This does not bode well for the thriller, which will likely open to under $3M this weekend.

Attack on Titan: Part One opened in 264 theaters yet managed to Crack the top 10 with a solid $260,000. Given that most theaters were only showing it once a day, and it was on a weekday and it has received very weak early reactions, this is an interesting start. It’s only playing two other days this week followed by its successor in just a few weeks, and is certainly an interesting release. There’s really nothing to compare this to, but cracking the top 1 for such a niche film is undoubtedly impressive.

Highly anticipated art house thriller Sicario finally opens after two weeks in strong limited release. Clearly there is intense interest in the film, but whether or not that will translate to a solid wide debut is yet to be seen. However, it seems generally accessible enough to reach $10M this weekend.

Predictions

1. The Martian – $42.5M
2. Hotel Transylvania 2 – $28.5M
3. Sicario – $13.5M
4. The Intern – $10.5M
5. Black Mass – $8.5M

The Walk – $1.8M

The Bottom Line
With we’ll executed marketing and widespread appeal, The Martian should be topping $40M this weekend. The Walk should do at least $5M by Sunday, since Everest was able to do $7M in a weekend. Sicario</strong, is in fine shape at $10M.

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