Things were pretty dismal this weekend for the new wide releases, making the box office a crowded place but without much to celebrate.
Amongst members, the top dog was Danny Boyle‘s biopic Steve Jobs about the late Apple co-founder and CEO. Expanding nationwide this weekend took it’s numbers up for check-ins, bringing it to the top at 21.1%.
Farther back was Vin Diesel‘s fantasy action vehicle the Last Witch Hunter, which took 12.6%.
Hold outs for the remaining top 5 for members ended up being all holdovers from last weekend: in third was Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks tag-teamer Bridge of Spies with 10.6% (-52% from last week), Guillermo del Toro-directed Crimson Peak took fourth with 8% (-62%), and rounding out the top 5 was Jack Black-starrer Goosebumps with 5.8% (-47%).
The box office numbers for the nation were a bit different, but similar in that the Last Witch Hunter was the only new release to crack the top 5 with $10.8M, a pretty underwhelming number for a Vin Diesel, higher budget action film.
With the theater apparently devoid of anything people wanted to watch, The Martian took back it’s #1 slot with a modest $15.9M, followed by Goosebumps at $15.5M, then Bridge of Spies at $11.4M. Behind the Last Witch Hunter was the other kids’ fare of the month Hotel Transylvania 2, with $10.8M.
Survivors aside, let’s break down what happened with the lackluster performances of the other wide releases this weekend.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is first up and did sort of ok. It managed to beat out an expanding Steve Jobs at the box office by $1M, but only mustered 3.4% of check-ins this weekend to put it at 9th place. What happened with it? As a lower-budget horror, which producer Blumhouse Productions specializes in, this isn’t a huge loss, but compare it to other openings in the franchise, some hitting $100M+, this one has definitely fallen from grace. This might be the time for it to bow out.
Bill Murray‘s Rock the Kasbah did better with members, coming in at sixth place with 5.2%, but it did pretty poorly at the box office, grossing only $750 per theater to come in at $1.5M. At an abysmal 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems like the usually likeable Murray was put in a losing situation here. Personally, not much about the trailer released looked particularly remarkable.
Bringing up the rear of the weekend was Jem and the Holograms. The young adult-focused adaptation of the TV show performed miserably at the box office and not great for check-ins, bringing in $1.3M and coming in 8th place with 4.1%. Where’d they go wrong here? A 20% Rotten Tomatoes rating didn’t help, but there must’ve been something else that put it at the fourth worst opening for a movie releasing in over 2000 theaters…still, at only a $5M budget, distributor Universal won’t be too far in the red after Jem’s theater run is over.
What’s up with next weekend? A less cluttered opening includes Sandra Bullock-starring political drama Our Brand is Crisis, quirky horror comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and a nationwide expansion for Bradley Cooper‘s chef drama Burnt. I have a hunch Cooper will pull off a win next weekend with members, potentially pushing close to 20%. However, a built-for-Halloween movie like Scouts Guide could do well with a festive audience. Sandra Bullock could be a draw as well, but I have doubts about the movie’s wide appeal potential domestically.