US box office: The Martian soars into blockbuster territory as Pan plummets

todayOctober 12, 2015

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The Martian, Ridley Scott’s space thriller about an astronaut left behind on Mars when a mission to the red planet goes horribly wrong, has officially entered blockbuster territory after posting $37m in its second week at the US box office.

The impressive haul means Scott’s film now has a total of $108.7m in North America alone and a stellar $227.7m worldwide. Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Martian also continues to perform strongly outside the world’s biggest box office and could be on course to mimic the huge success of similar space-themed efforts such as Gravity ($723m in 2013) and Interstellar ($675m last year). It is currently pacing ahead of Christopher Nolan’s film in the US.

There was less positive news for Pan, studio Warner Bros’ attempt to mount a live action prequel to JM Barrie’s much-loved tale of the boy who never grew up. Joe Wright’s $150m fantasy, which stars Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and newcomer Levi Miller as Peter Pan, landed in third with just $15.5m on its first week of release, with another $20.5m from other markets. Unless the film can triumph in China, where it hits multiplexes on 22 October, Warner could be facing a huge write down.

The victim of withering reviews, Pan has also suffered from bad press after Wright cast the white actor Rooney Mara in the role of Tiger Lily, traditionally a Native American character. An online petition against the casting has gained more than 95,000 signatures.

Wright’s film is just the latest Warner Bros-released fairytale-themed venture to fail, following 2011’s Red Riding Hood and 2013’s Jack the Giant Slayer. Meanwhile, rival studio Disney has found considerable box office success with similarly pitched fare such as Alice in Wonderland ($1bn), Cinderella ($500m) and Maleficent ($758m), and is currently mounting an ambitious program of further live action fantasy remakes.

Second place at this weekend’s US box office went to animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, scoring another $20.3m for a three-week total of $116.8m. The top five was rounded out by comedy The Intern, with $8.7m for a three-week total of $49.6m in fourth, and the critically-acclaimed Denis Villeneuve crime thriller Sicario, with $7.4m for a four-week total of $26.7m in fifth.

Some rightwing critics in the US have been attempting to paint Sicario as a box office failure as a result of recent controversies over star Emily Blunt’s adoption of US citizenship. But with $43.4m globally thus far on a $30m budget, and plenty of awards season buzz to fuel further box office success, the film looks likely to be profitable.

Not so Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk, which continues to perform below expectations and landed the seventh spot in North America with just $3.7m for the weekend and $6.4m in total from two weeks on release.

More promising was the tech biopic Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender as the late Apple co-founder. Buoyed by excellent reviews – and quite possiblycontroversy over its “warts and all” painting of Jobs – Danny Boyle’s film based on Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay made the best limited release showing of 2015 so far – $521,000 from just four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles – as it builds towards an Oscars run.

North American box office 9-11 October

1. The Martian: $37m – $108.7m

2. Hotel Transylvania: $20.3m. Total: $116.8m

3. Pan: $15.5m – NEW

4. The Intern: $8.7m. Total: $49.6m

5. Sicario: $7.4m. Total: $26.7m

6. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials: $5.3m. Total: $70.6m

7. The Walk: $3.7m. Total: $6.4m

8. Black Mass: $3.1m. Total: $57.6m

9. Everest: $3m. Total: $38.2m

10. The Visit: $2.4m. Total: $61.1m


Source: theguardian.com


Written by: New Generation Radio

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