Saturday Update: “Martian” On Top, Newcomers Flop

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Burnt and Our Brand is Crisis came in way lower than already low expectations. What was less surprising however, was the very poor performance of Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, which was probably the biggest loser in semi wide release.

Because these newcomers all failed to do any serious business, The Martian and Goosebumps were back on top, with The Martian in first with $3.5M (down just 20%) and Goosebumps with $3M (down 23%). Those are both fantastic holds, but may turn out to have very large drops on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the weekend plays out with this unusual release schedule. The Martian may have been helped by the fact that it got a one week IMAX 3D release, as the only other option in that format was Crimson Peak, which is entering its third weekend of grossing next to nothing. This may have boosted its appeal a bit, as its excellent visual effects and space setting likely helped a bit.

Burnt topped the newcomers with a weak $1.83M, en route for a weekend in the $5M range. That’s even lower than Aloha, which started with $3.5M back in May. Grossing about half of that infamous flop is never a good sign, and is probably going to wind up with around half of that films total gross, if not less. Audiences weren’t exactly thriled, giving the film a weak B- Cinemascore.

Our Brand is Crisis set a new wide release low for Sandra Bullock, starting in 8th $1.1M from over 2,000 theaters. That gives the political dramedy a terrible weekend of around $3M or less, which is less than half of already low expectations. Audiences that did show up gave it a terrible C+ Cinemascore, showing that this will likely disappear entirely from theaters within a few weeks.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse may have had a mildly amusing trailer, but its controversial release schedule led it to be an absolute trainwreck in its debut. It opened in 12th place with just $708K, which will likely give it a weekend of around $1.7M or so. Expectations had it in the $2-$3M range, which was already very bad, but this is just embarrassing. Between the failure of both this and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, it doesn’t seem likely that Paramount is going to use this release strategy any more. If they follow the intended home video release schedule, Scouts will likely be available on Blu ray within about a month, which has to be a new record of some sort.

Steve Jobs was very surprising in its second weekend – and not in a good way. While adult oriented dramas tend to have excellent holds, Steve Jobs plummeted a whopping 66% on Friday for a terrible $848K second Friday gross. Right now the film is up to $12M after a week in wide release and two weeks in limited release, but it will struggle to get past the $15M mark at this point.

Truth opened in 1,122 theaters, but bombed with an atrocious $255K opening day, giving it a per theater average of just $227. The film did have a decent advertising budget, and with controversy over CBS’ refusal to market the film should have propelled this a bit more, but it seems as though this went completely ignored in an ocean of other options.

Bridge of Spies had another great hold, down just 26%. That’s even better than last Fridays drop of 38%, which lead to a weekend hold of 26%. If it can hold similarly, the Cold War thriller could be set for another drop of under 30%, making it one of the best holding wide release films of the year.

Jem and the Holograms plummeted a whopping 74% to just $121K giving it a per theater average of…wait for it… $50. This will likely see one of the biggest theater drops ever. The current record for a film in 2400-2500 theaters is actually a film from just a few weeks ago, The Walk, which lost 2,228 theaters in its third week of wide release. A similar result for Jem would be hardly surprising.

The Last Witch Hunter was down 61%, which is average – but still bad – for a film like this. The CG-heavy action horror genre almost always has a drop over 60%, so this is basically what was expected.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension wasn’t actually quite as front loaded as expected. The horror sequel did drop 64%, but that’s much better than Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones (76%) or Paranormal Activity 4 (79%). However, being less front loaded than recent Paranormal Activity sequels is like winning a tallest midget award. A 64% drop is still bad, but it wasn’t quite as bad as expected. Despite all of this, its still making barely anything, with an 8 day total of $11M, meaning its going to be another week before its even at the opening weekend of The Marked Ones.

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