After 20th Century Fox's The Martian took home the box office crown yet again last weekend, many were wondering if that feat could be repeated for a third consecutive time. The sci-fi drama will face its toughest challenge yet, with three new releases hitting theaters on October 16, Sony's Goosebumps, Universal's Crimson Peak and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies. The Martian only dropped 31.9% from its opening frame last weekend, and if it can pull off a similar decrease, it may end up on top for a third time in a row, but the projections from BoxOffice.com put Goosebumps as the winner with $24 million.
Goosebumps stars Jack Black as beloved author R.L. Stine, whose world is upended when a new neighbor moves into town. Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination! While Goosebumps is expected to come out on top, opening in 3,300 theaters, another strong showing from The Martian could give it a third straight win at the box office.
If The Martian manages to drop by just 31.9%, or less, it would end up with $25.2 million this weekend, but we're projecting it to come in second place with $21.8 million. The sci-fi drama follows the quest to save an astronaut stranded on Mars. We still have a long way to go until the awards season races truly start to heat up, but The Martian has emerged as one of the top front runners. With an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels, The Martian has earned $108 million since opening on October 2.
It should be another close race for third place as well, with newcomer Bridge of Spies and Crimson Peak's projections quite close to one another. Bridge of Spies is expected to open in third place with a projected $16 million, with Crimson Peak on its heels in fourth place with $14 million. Bridge of Spies is already a hit with critics, posting an impressive 91% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ahead of Goosebumps' 82% rating. Bridge of Spies is a dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, which tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. The supporting cast is rounded out by Mark Rylance, who is already getting Oscar buzz for his portrayal of a Russian spy, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Billy Magnussen, Eve Hewson and Scott Shepherd. There aren't enough reviews posted for a consensus on Crimson Peak quite yet. Hotel Transylvania 2 will likely round out the top 5 in fifth place with $12.1 million.
Rounding out the top 10 are Pan ($7.8 million), The Intern $4.4 million, Sicario ($4.1 million), The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ($3.7 million) and the new release Woodlawn ($2.4 million), which opens in 1,500 theaters. It's also possible that Steve Jobs, which had an incredible opening weekend in limited release, could sneak into the top 10, since it will expand from four theaters to roughly 60. The highly-anticipated biopic earned a phenomenal $521,522 from just four theaters last weekend, earning an astounding $130,381 per-screen average. If it continues to put up an impressive per-screen average this weekend, there is certainly a chance it could slide into the top 10, but we'll have to see how audiences in these expanded markets will respond to Steve Jobs.
Opening in limited release this weekend are critically-acclaimed indie dramas Room, Truth and Woodlawn, along with The Assassin, Cut Snake, Meadowland, and All Things Must Pass. Also opening in a limited theatrical release is Beasts of No Nation, although fans will also be able to watch the critically-acclaimed drama on Netflix. The film was given a limited theatrical release so it could qualify for the Academy Awards, and it's certainly possible this could be an early awards season candidate, given the amount of critical acclaim it has already received. The film stars Idris Elba as an African military leader, who trains a young boy named Agu, played by Abraham Attah in his feature film debut. It will be interesting to see how this film performs while opening in theaters and on Netflix at the same time.
Looking ahead, next weekend is shaping up to be one of the busiest at the box office all year, with four new films hitting theaters and Steve Jobs expanding nationwide. Opening on October 23 are Universal's Jem and the Holograms, starring Juliette Lewis, Lionsgate's The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel, Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the final installment in the long-running Paranormal Activity franchise, and Open Road Films' Rock the Kasbah. Debuting in limited release is The Weinstein Company's Burnt, which will expand nationwide on October 30, Attack on Titan: Part 2, Difret, Extraordinary Tales, Heart of a Dog, Suffragette, I Smile Back and Nasty Baby. Take a look at our projections for this weekend, and check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: