Pan cannot fly, audiences do not give The Walk something it can feel, Steve Jobs wins everything, Knock Knock does Trash, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
Proving either that audiences are getting smarter at avoiding garbage movies, or that completely phoning in your marketing by near-outright admitting that the film you’re trying to sell sucks isn’t a fool-proof strategy for box office gold, Pan has flopped big time. For what was supposed to be a big, tent-pole, $150 million, franchise-starting blockbuster, the film was completely dead on arrival, managing an absolutely pathetic $15 million for third place. Would you like a measure of just how dreadful that is? 2015 has been a year filled with terrible big budget blockbusters (and Jupiter Ascending shut up) bombing domestically, and Pan is still the worst opening of the lot! Worse than Tomorrowland ($33 million), worse than Terminator: Portable ($27 million), worse than Fantastic 4 ($25 million), and even worse than Jupiter Ascending ($18 million)! So, err, yeah. Probably not getting a franchise out of this one. Thank Christ.
Elsewhere, the bizarre-to-me “release early in IMAX” strategy has claimed yet another victim from studios that fail to understand that this is a TERRIBLE IDEA as Robert Zemeckis’ 3D extravaganza The Walk made the leap from its underperformance in IMAX last week to cinemas where actual people could see the film. Not that anyone was interested in seeing it, mind, as The Walk completely failed to find an audience, finishing up in seventh with $3.7 million, presumably because The Martian has the whole “crowd-pleasing spectacle” market on lock. Speaking of, that film is still your Box Office Number One with $37 million, only dropping an excellent 32% between weekends. It’s almost like we reward Ridley Scott if he actually makes a good movie. Maybe he should do that more often.
In the land of the Limited Releases, the big winner was Steve Jobs, possibly surprising quite literally no-one. I mean: it’s a biopic about Steve Jobs, one that’s gone through hell to get made, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Michael Fassbender, heavily resembling The Social Network, with excellent reviews, and has first been released in 4 cinemas in New York and Los Angeles. If this film didn’t make an absolute killing this weekend, I’d have been incredibly surprised. But a killing it did make, absolutely at that, with a weekend total of $521,522 and a per-screen average of $130,381 – the highest of the whole year, easily blowing past Sicario’s $66,881 from a few weeks back. Of course, the real test is whether it can be similarly successful when it goes Nationwide in two weeks, since Danny Boyle’s been struggling with wider acceptance since Slumdog Millionaire, but I see no universe where this movie fails.
Feel free to shout that line back at me in two weeks if it does fail.
Steve Jobs was not the only Limited Release this weekend, though. Lionsgate continued their admirable attempt to distribute films aimed specifically at Latino audiences with heist caper Ladrones. The film, somewhat unfortunately, did not manage to do particularly well on its 375 screens, closing the weekend in thirteenth place with $1.4 million in ticket sales. On the bright side, at least it wasn’t Knock Knock, Eli Roth’s latest excuse for a movie with a Keanu Reeves performance seemingly precisely calibrated to make one take back any praise given to him for his work in John Wick. In accordance with a more enlightened movie-going audience realising that Eli Roth was never a particularly good filmmaker, the film crashed and burned on 22 screens with just $18,623 and an $847 per-screen average. And as for Trash, a film that came out in the UK in February: $10,230 from 17 screens for a $602 per-screen average. Ouch.
Here’s the Full List now, ENTERTAIN US!
Box Office Results: Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015
1] The Martian
$37,005,266 / $108,715,595
This film is rather sticking with me, for some reason. I really didn’t expect it to, since I found it way too long and had the distinct sense that it would be one of those films I really like whilst watching but would just sort of forget about in the days following that viewing, but it’s genuinely sticking with me. I think it’s because the whole thrust of the film – Mark Watney getting through his situation by organisation, bite-size tasks, and logic & reason – is very relatable to me, as somebody who goes about his life much the same way, so it resonates on that deeper level way more than I thought it would. I like seeing that.
2] Hotel Transylvania 2
$20,420,392 / $116,942,033
Review will be along tomorrow, I guarantee it. I’m also really sorry for not having written it already, I have just been absolutely swamped this past week and I’m behind on everything. Just bear with me, it is coming.
$15,315,435 / NEW
Oh, boy, I need to find the time to get a written review of this out. To not review this total trainwreck would be a dereliction of my duties as a Film Critic. Not kidding, this is… this is really something. At this rate, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 won’t be in my Bottom 10 of 2015 at all, and that is an utterly miserable thought to have.
4] The Intern
$8,678,187 / $49,592,234
Fun Fact I learned in my inaugural East Asian Cinema lecture this past week: What Women Want received a Chinese remake in 2011. Why, I have no idea, but it exists for those of you who may be interested in checking that out.
$7,579,324 / $26,935,340
Seeing this again on Saturday! Might even be inspired to finish my review, too, because everyone should be singing from the rooftops about this one. It really is that brilliant. Very nice to see it doing OK at the Box Office, too.
6] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
$5,371,941 / $70,765,331
There is not one element of this story that doesn’t make me hate every single one of this film’s cast members. “And everyone just takes stuff, obviously…” Obviously. You just take stuff when told not to. That’s something everyone just does, obviously, you goddamn f*cking prat.
7] The Walk
$3,719,177 / $6,430,676
Kinda disappointed in this one, even though I did rather enjoy it. It’s charming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fun, and the actual walk itself is brilliantly tense, but it falls down the same way that most recent biopics have fallen down and that’s in the fact that it has absolutely nothing to say about its subject other than “wasn’t this a cool thing that happened?” It doesn’t want to interrogate Phillippe’s arrogance or the reasons as to why he wants to do the walk, so the film ends up feeling empty. It almost gets away with it, because Zemeckis is a brilliant popcorn filmmaker, but the film’s ultimately too insubstantial to make it worth watching over Man On Wire.
8] Black Mass
$3,118,427 / $57,557,128
I really don’t have anything to say about this movie until I can see it. Stupid release window disparities…
$3,073,035 / $38,253,250
I keep forgetting this movie happened, which is especially weird since I rather liked it and even shed a tear at the ending. Huh. Probably a good thing I don’t hand out star ratings, otherwise I’d look like a bit of a fool right now.
10] The Visit
$2,523,505 / $61,158,030
Crimson Peak is going to completely bomb, isn’t it? Like nearly everything else that Guillermo del Toro makes, it’s going to be brilliant and it’s going to bomb hard, isn’t it? Yet M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie will close having made more than 12x its budget domestically. Goddammit, World…
Dropped Out: War Room, The Perfect Guy
Callum Petch has got it all wrong. He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com). Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!