Saturday Update: “Goosebumps” “The Martian” in Close Race for First Place

Over a very crowded weekend with three major new releases, Goosebumps topped the newcomers with a solid $7.3M on its opening day. If it holds well (and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t), it will wind up with a weekend of around $25M. That’s a very good start for the adaptation that’s been stuck in development hell for almost two decades, and shows that there is certainly still interest in the very long running book series. The real story here will be overseas grosses, where effects-fueled adventures like this tend to easily gross over $100M, and with a domestic gross that will likely top $80M, it seems like this one will probably be a win.

Bridge of Spies was so-so with a $5.3M opening day. Given the combination of Steven Speilberg, Tom Hanks and the Cold War, it seems as though it should have been a slam dunk, but marketing didn’t do a great enough job to get past the fact that the movie just looked a bit stale. In comparison, Captain Phillips took in $8.5M on its opening day. If it plays similarly to that, it will wind up with around $16M for the weekend. That’s not really a bad start, but it just feels like it could’ve – and should’ve – done a little better. It has a fairly modest $40M production budget, so overseas grosses could be a saving grace here. It has a great A Cinemascore, as do many historical films, but it will still have very strong holds for a while. It will probably wind up with over $60M domestic if it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle over the next few weeks.

The Martian continued to do strong business with a solid $6.3M on its third Friday of release. That’s down 42% from last Friday. In comparison, its second Friday was down 41% from opening day, so it will probably see another weekend in the $25M range. That’s another fantastic hold, which as of Friday is up to $128M domestic. At this pace it should easily top the $200M mark, and just how high it will go is yet to be seen.

Crimson Peak was slightly disappointing with a soft $5.27M on its first day of release. Once reviews started coming in, it was apparent that the film’s marketing was grossly misleading, selling it as a spooky haunted house horror film with a victorian era setting, but it seems as though the film is actually a dramatic romance with some ghosts added for posterity. Marketing tricks like that lead to awful word of mouth and huge drops. Not to mention, if they had marketed the film as what it really was it probably would’ve done fine enough. An example of this was the 2011 film Drive, which, despite a large cult following years later, received an awful C- Cinemascore at release as well as many customers angry that it was not a standard Fast and the Furious type action film. Those who did show up for Crimson Peak weren’t overly thrilled, with a poor B- Cinemascore

The other new release of the weekend, Woodlawn, was decent with $1.5M on its opening day. That’s way lower than War Room, which made over $4M on its opening day of release. Given that the faith aspect was not as heavily marketed and it was more just sold as a standard sports drama, that sounds like a fine debut, but the film has a whopping $25M budget. In comparison, War Room cost just $3M, and 90 Minutes in Heaven was just $5M. Still, the film received the rare and highly coveted A+ on Cinemascore, which means it could hold very well in the weeks to come.

Steve Jobs expanded into 60 theaters and had another very good Friday. It grossed $516,000 with a per theater average of $8,600. In comparison, Birdman expanded into 50 theaters in its second weekend and grosses $432K for a $8.6K average. Obviously there was intense interest in those first four theaters, but it has cooled off a bit from its record breaking $130K per theater average last weekend.

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