Weekend Wrap-Up

Halloween and Hollywood Devastate Box Office

By John Hamann

November 1, 2015

Matt Damon's not the only one who went to Mars, dammit!

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We knew it was going to be bad for the box office due to Halloween falling on a Saturday, but that's not the only place the blame lies. Hollywood trotted out another batch of bad films, and no one attended.

Openers this Halloween weekend made it look like it was Oscar-launch weekend instead of the scariest weekend of the year. New films included Burnt with three-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, Our Brand Is Crisis with Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, and Truth, the exposé on the 60 Minutes piece about George Bush's military service starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Oscar icon Robert Redford. The only horror film released this weekend - Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse - didn't even make the top ten. We are left with a weekend that rivals those sad, late August, early September weekends at the box office. Like last weekend, we all expected it to be bad, but not this bad. On the bright side, it creates a box office vacuum that will be filled shortly by James Bond and the Peanuts gang.

The number one film of the weekend, for the fourth time out of the last five weekends, is again The Martian. The Ridley Scott space feature gets a little more separation from Goosebumps, as it has another decent hold despite Halloween falling on Saturday, as it acts as Halloween counter-programming. The Martian earned another $11.4 million this frame and dropped 28% compared to last weekend. The Fox release has shown fantastic legs thanks to its A Cinemascore and fantastic reviews, and now looks to push its domestic gross up to $200 million. Currently, the film that cost $108 million has earned $182.8 million stateside and now has pushed the worldwide gross beyond $425 million. The massive run for The Martian is going to get pushed down next weekend, though, as the new James Bond flick and the Peanuts movie are going to dominate.


Second spot - for the second weekend in a row - goes to Goosebumps, Sony's youth-friendly Halloween movie. Goosebumps earned an additional $10.2 million this weekend, off a good-for-Halloween 34% compared to last weekend. The Friday number was excellent, down 23% compared to the previous Friday at $3.1 million, but then Goosebumps had to deal with Halloween on Saturday and the post-Halloween Sunday. Goosebumps cost $58 million to make, and by Sunday it was approaching that figure with $57.1 million. The Jack Black starrer could still finish with about $80 million stateside, so it will need close to $100 million overseas to see a profit. So far, the rollout has been slow overseas, with about $10 million prior to the weekend. The verdict on Goosebumps will be out for a while - it doesn't hit European theaters until January and February.

Like the top two, Bridge of Spies also holds the same rank it did last weekend, as it spends its third weekend in the bronze medal position. The Steven Spielberg film earned another $8.1 million this weekend, off 29%. With a reported budget of only $40 million, the Tom Hanks thriller is going to end up just fine, as it has a gross to date of $45.2 million, and should finish - depending on future legs versus some big films - with about $75 million. Like Goosebumps, the overseas rollout is occurring slowly, with a release in the United Kingdom coming in late November.

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