Box Office Implodes Despite Four New Titles (and Steve Jobs)
By John Hamann
October 25, 2015
Third spot goes Bridge of Spies, which not only holds its rank from its debut weekend but also has a strong financial hold, as this type of release doesn’t depend as much on a big opening frame. In its second weekend, Bridge of Spies earned $11.4 million, off a slim 26% compared to last weekend. This is the norm for a Steven Spielberg film dealing with the past – Lincoln held amazingly, as did War Horse and of course Schindler’s List. Bridge has a reported budget of only $40 million, but with the talent involved (Spielberg, Tom Hanks, the Coen Brothers) everyone must have worked for scale with a very large backend. The total for Bridge of Spies has now reached $32.6 million, and given the holds likely to come, where this finishes is really anyone’s guess.
We have our first of many openers landing in fourth, as Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter is the best of the ugly. Looking and feeling like a B-movie, The Last Witch Hunter - even with Vin Diesel – was never going to work. This supernatural action film got started on Friday with a sad $3.8 million – which was pretty much the death knell for this one, as it cost $90 million to make. We are told that Lionsgate solid off foreign territories to limit their exposure, but that is a LOT of exposure. The weekend take ended up at $10.8 million from 3,082 venues, while expectations were higher at $16 million.
Diesel’s last two films, Furious 7 and Guardians of the Galaxy, both earned over $330 million, so this is a drop back into reality for the action star. This is more of a Babylon A.D. type opening, which debuted to $9.4 million before crashing out with $22.5 million. Reviews and word-of-mouth killed this one, as it had a 15% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes and a B- Cinemascore.
Hotel Transylvania 2 holds on for a sixth place finish this weekend, keeping its same position as last weekend despite four new releases and a heavy expander. The only good thing in Adam Sandler’s current career earned another $9 million in weekend five and fell 29%. This weekend’s gross ties it with the original’s $148.3 million, but there's still a bit of steam left before it leaves theaters. The sequel remains about $80 million behind the original internationally but still has several markets to open in, including Australia and China.
Sixth goes to Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. The last entry in this cheap-to-make, high grossing franchise is a sad final film that can’t keep up with its compatriots. The Ghost Dimension, which sounds more like a Scooby Doo episode than a horror movie, earned only $8.2 million from a smaller-than-usual 1,656 venues. It was expected to earn $12 million. The reason for the lower venue count is that Ghost Dimension is heading to VOD in two weeks, as Paramount was “investing in information” regarding theatrical windows. In reality, though, the last Paranormal Activity, The Marked Ones, opened to $18.3 million and $28.5 million after 10 days, and finished its domestic run with $32.5 million. So what they are really trying to do is extend the legs of these notoriously short earning films and make more money. Theatrical or VOD, don’t bother, as this one is 13% fresh at RottenTomatoes and earned a C Cinemascore. Ew.