The Martian fell just shy of breaking Gravity's box office record for highest October opening of $55.7 million, by taking in $55 million in its first weekend. That record will likely be in no danger of falling this weekend either, with only one new movie arriving in wide release, Warner Bros.' Pan, and TriStar's The Walk expanding. With Pan's less than stellar critical reception so far, the projections at BoxOffice.com indicate that Pan likely won't have a shot at the top spot, with The Martian set to win for a second time in a row.
The Martian opened in 3,750 theaters, a count that isn't expected to change too much going into its second weekend at the box office. Ridley Scott's sci-fi drama following the quest to save an astronaut stranded on Mars has been called the best movie of the year by a number of critics. 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 is set to continue the tradition of outer space movies that are both financial and critical hits, including Gravity and Interstellar, which opened in the same frame the past two years. After last weekend's $55 million tally, The Martian should have no trouble securing first place again with an estimated $23.7 million.
It should be a very close race for second place between holdover Hotel Transylvania 2 and Pan, which is expected to open in more than 3,350 theaters. While Hotel Transylvania 2 is in its third frame in theaters, it only dropped 31.5% to take in $33 million during its second weekend, and it should pull in around $17 million this week for second place, besting Pan's projection of $16 million. While Pan, from director Joe Wright, does feature an all-star cast led by Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Garrett Hedlund, Cara Delevingne and newcomer Levi Miller, critics haven't exactly been warming up to this Peter Pan adventure, which currently sits at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sicario is expected to drop from third place to fourth place this weekend with $8.2 million, with The Walk cracking the top 5 with $7.6 million. The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley, is based on the incredible true story of Philippe Petit, whose daring high-wire walk across the Twin Towers in 1974 made headlines around the world. Director Robert Zemeckis' thriller didn't post incredible numbers during its exclusive run in 448 IMAX theaters, taking in $1.5 million for a $3,483 per-screen average. If it manages to hold steady in the per-screen average department, it should be able to crack the top 5.
Rounding out the top 10 will be The Intern ($6.3 million), The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ($4.4 million), Black Mass ($2.8 million), Everest ($2 million) and The Visit ($1.8 million). It's worth noting that the critically-acclaimed indie drama 99 Homes, which opened in limited release two weeks ago, could have a shot to crack the top 10 this weekend, since the Broad Green Pictures release expands into more than 500 theaters. It has taken in $140,918 so far, but we'll have to wait and see how it fares with an expanded theater count. It isn't known if there are any plans for a nationwide expansion yet.
Debuting in limited release this weekend is the highly-anticipated Steve Jobs, which opens in just nine theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Barring an unprecedented box office miracle, this biopic won't crack the top 10, but it is expected to put up massive numbers in limited release. The drama starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, and Michael Stuhlbarg, is set backstage before three of Apple's massive product launches, the Mac computer, Apple Next, and the original iPad. The film has already been receiving critical raves after debuting at the Telluride Film Festival last month, and playing at the New York Film Festival last week. Steve Jobs will expand nationwide on October 23. Also opening in limited release is Picturehouse's Big Stone Gap, starring Patrick Wilson and Ashley Judd, Vertical Entertainment's The Final Girls starring Nina Dobrev and Taissa Farmiga and foreign films Victoria and Xenia.
Looking ahead to next weekend, there will be three movies aimed at vastly different genres that will be vying for box office supremacy. Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, will cater to those seeking a historical adult drama, while Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak will attract the adult horror crowd and Goosebumps will bring in a much more family-friendly audience. We don't have any specific numbers for any of these movies' theater counts yet, but this unique trio of movies should provide a very interesting race at the box office. Both Crimson Peak (82% on Rotten Tomtoes) and Goosebumps (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) are faring well with critics so far, but we don't have a critical consensus for Bridge of Spies quite yet. Opening in limited release next weekend are the critically-acclaimed indie dramas Room, Truth and Woodlawn, along with The Assassin, Cut Snake and All Things Must Pass. While we wait for next weekend's numbers to come in, check out this weekend's predictions below, and check back Sunday for the box office estimates.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: