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'The Martian' remains on top

Published:Sunday | October 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Matt Damon is an astronaut stranded on Mars in The Martian.
A bunch of likeable monsters in Hotel Transylvania 2.


Pan produced no Neverland magic at the box office.

The fantasy, which cost an estimated US$150 million to produce, earned US$15.5 million in its opening weekend, according to Rentrak estimates yesterday. Early tracking did not look promising for the Joe Wright-directed film, but still predicted that Pan would open at least in the US$20 million range.

The PG-rated epic, sold as a Peter Pan origin story and a lavish visual feast, has had a bumpy ride from the beginning. It started when actress Rooney Mara, who is white, was cast as Tiger Lily, who is historically Native American. The film, starring Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund, also had been pushed from July to October. It has not been well-received by critics, either.

"This had a lot going against it," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Rentrak.

He also believes competition in the family market from the Halloween-themed animated feature Hotel Transylvania 2 hurt Pan.

"Family films always have an audience, but that audience is extremely fickle and hard to please - just like the kids who go to these movies," Dergarabedian said. "You just never know what's going to resonate."

Sony's high-wire spectacle, The Walk, also stumbled in its first weekend in wide release, after debuting on IMAX screens last week. The tale of Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center earned US$3.7 million this weekend, bringing its total to US$6.4 million. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the film, directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Not all was bleak at the box office, though. Ridley Scott's space adventure, The Martian, earned a solid US$37 million in its second week in cinemas, nabbing the top spot once more. Its domestic total now stands at US$108.7 million.

Hotel Transylvania 2 took second place in its third weekend with US$20.3 million, bumping its total to US$116.8 million. Pan came in at number three.

Nancy Meyers' workplace comedy, The Intern, earned US$8.7 million, and the border thriller, Sicario, brought in US$7.4 million, rounding out the top five.

Outside the top 10, Steve Jobs, the biopic of the late Apple CEO directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, opened in four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles to a powerful US$520,942. Its US$130,000 per-cinema average ranks as the best of the year and should bode well for the film's expansion across the next two weeks.

"This is a movie everyone's talking about, and now they're going to be talking about it even more," Dergarabedian said.

Following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released today.

1. The Martian (US$37m)

2. Hotel Transylvania 2 (US$20.3m)

3. Pan (US$15.5m)

4. The Intern (US$8.7m)

5. Sicario (U$7.4m)

6. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (US$5.3m)

7. The Walk (US$3.7m)

8. Black Mass (US$3.1m)

9. Everest (US$3m)

10. The Visit (US$2.4m)