Monday update, 5:57PM: 20th Century’s The Martian came in slightly lower for the weekend from where the studio and the industry saw it yesterday, $54.3M in actuals versus its Sunday AM projection of $55M. Still, the Ridley Scott-directed movie drove total weekend ticket sales toward a damn good weekend of $151.4M per Rentrak, up 10% from a week ago and a 1% from a year ago — when Gone Girl made $37.5M, exciting older women and warning men to stay away from type A personality femmes. Martian still posted the second-best opening for October, star Matt Damon and Scott. Sunday receipts were a tad slower than expected for Martian, with $13.9M versus the $14.6M projected yesterday morning; chalk that up to a combo of poor weather on the Eastern seaboard, the NFL in full swing and the last day of the Major League Baseball regular season. Worldwide, Martian posted a $98.9M opening. Fox owned the two biggest screen averages of the frame with Searchlight’s documentary He Named Me Malala grossing $15,221 at four New York and LA theaters or $60K and Martian zapping $14,176. Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s Sicario, the weekend’s second wide opener, came in right on target with $12.1M in its third sesh.

il travotoreFrom out of nowhere, the MET reported $1.75M worth of box office to Rentrak for Fathom Events/MET Giuseppe Verdi opera Il Trovatore, which only added insult to injury to Sony’s The Walk, pushing it to 12th place. Outside of that movie, when it came to moviegoers shelling out big bucks for premium large-format thrills, they chose to go to Mars instead of the World Trade Center, as The Martian made $6M at 375 PLF auditoriums versus Walk‘s $1.56M at 448 Imax and PLF screens. Robert Zemeckis’ biopic about tightrope walker Philippe Petit came in $1.02M short of the $3M where Sony wanted to be with the movie. Light candles and say prayers that its B.O. is better next weekend when it expands ot 2,500 venues. Also opening is Joe Wright’s $150M version of Pan from Warner Bros. in 3,350 theaters. Lionsgate also has the Dominican Republic comedy Ladrones which is looking to lift dolares at 350 theaters.

Top 20 films and notables per Rentrak:

1). The Martian (FOX), 3,831 theaters /3-day cume: $54.3M / Per screen average: $14,176 /Wk 1

2). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $33.2M (-32%) / Per screen: $8,842 / Total cume: $90.7M /Wk 2

3). Sicario (LGF), 2,620 theaters (+2561) /3-day cume: $12.1M (+607%) / Per screen: $4,637 / Total cume: $15.1M /Wk 2

4). The Intern (WB), 3,320 theaters (+15) /3-day cume: $11.7M (-34%)/ Per screen: $3,520 / Total cume: $36.7M/Wk 2

5). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,319 theaters (-473)/ 3-day cume: $7.8M (-45%)/ Per screen: $2,352 / Total cume: $63.4M/Wk 3

6). Black Mass (WB), 2,768 theaters (-420)/ 3-day cume: $5.8M (-47%)/ Per screen: $2,112 / Total cume: $52.5M /Wk 3

7). Everest (UNI), 3,009 theaters (+3) / 3-day cume: $5.6M (-57%) / Per screen: $1,875 / Total cume: $33.3M/Wk 3

8). The Visit (UNI), 2,296 theaters (-671)/3-day cume: $4M (-40%) / Per screen: $1,730 / Total cume: $57.7M / Wk 4

9). War Room (SONY), 1,746 theaters (-174) / 3-day cume: $2.8M (-33%)/ Per screen: $1,617 / Total cume: $60.6M/ Wk 6

10). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,364 theaters (-525) / 3-day cume: $2.4M (-49%)/ Per screen: $1,769 / Total cume: $52.6M /Wk 4

11). MET Opera: II Trovatore (FTE), 930 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.75M / Per screen: $1,882 /Wk 1

12). The Walk (SONY), 448 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.56M / Per screen: $3,483 / Total cume: $1.98M /Wk 1

13). The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,543 theaters (+3) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-63%)/ Per screen: $851 / Total cume: $6M /Wk 2

14). Singh Is Bling (EROS), 135 theaters  / 3-day cume: $487K / Per screen: $3,608/ Wk 1

15). Pixels (SONY), 331 theaters (-172) / 3-day cume: $471K (-40%) / Per screen: $1,423 / Total cume: $77.8M / Wk 11

16). A Walk in the Woods (BGP), 553 theaters (-832) /3-day cume: $449K (-59%) / Per screen: $812 / Total cume: $28.4M / Wk 5

17). Grandma (SPC), 315 theaters (-489)/3-day cume: $393K (-49%) / Per screen: $1,248 /Total cume: $5.9M /Wk 7

18). Pawn Sacrifice (BS) 671 theaters (-110) /3-day cume: $370K (-63%)/ Per screen: $551 / Total cume: $2.1M /Wk 3

19). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 377 theaters (-463)  / 3-day cume: $333K (-63%)/ Per screen: $883 / Total cume: $194.1M / Wk 10

20). Minions (UNI), 265 theaters (-242) / 3-day cume: $309K (-29%) / Per screen: $1,165 / Total cume: $333.9M / Wk 13

Notables:

Talvar (RBE), 51 theaters /3-day cume: $145K / Per screen: $2,838 / Wk 1

Hell And Back (FREE), 411 theaters / 3-day cume: $104K / Per screen: $254 / Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 19 theaters (+17) / 3-day cume: $99K (+207%) / Per screen: $5,206 / Total cume: 141K / Wk 2

HE-NAMED-ME-MALALAHe Named Me Malala (FSL), 4 theaters / 3-day cume: $61K / Per screen: $15,221 / Wk 1

Freeheld (LGF), 5 theaters / 3-day cume: $38K / Per screen: $7,597 / Wk 1

Shanghai (TWC), 103 theaters /3-day cume: $27K / Per screen: $258 / Wk 1

Ladyrinth Of Flies (SPC), 3 theaters /3-day cume: $22K / Per screen: $7,367 / Total cume: $28K / Wk 1

Going Away (CMG), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $7,714 / Wk 1

Northern Soul (FREE), 10 theaters / 3-day cume: $6,786 / Per screen: $679 / Wk 1

Shout Gladi Gladi (IMC), 2 theaters / 3-day cume: $5,046/ Per screen: $2,523 / Wk 1

Sunday UPDATES: Last night the box office had a huge case of Saturday night fever with the top 11 films posting surges over Friday by an average of 61%. Late night receipts showed 20th Century Fox’s The Martian grossing an estimated $56M over three days, putting it on course to be the highest opening film ever in October. However, this morning, some bean counters are scaling back those projections. 20th Century Fox is calling the weekend for the Ridley Scott film at $55M, while others see it busting past the $55.8M made by Warner Bros.’ Gravity two years ago. As the old line goes: It all boils down to Sunday’s hold. Currently, Martian is the second best debut for October, Scott, and Matt Damon.

Fox saw that they had the goods with Martian and moved it away from its original Thanksgiving launch date. While that’s a great time to blast off a film, there are those two December weekends following the holiday where business gets clunky. Why slow a great film with that play period? By flipping Martian to the first weekend in October, Fox has the entire month to itself before Sony’s Spectre shows up on November 6.

Said 20th Century Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson, “When you move up a movie as much as we did, it’s not a small feat to get it finished in time. My hat is off to Ridley Scott and everyone at Scott Free for delivering an awesome motion picture.”

RealD 3D was a big driver for Martian, repping the planet’s share of 3D at 42% or $23M, the highest for the 3D company this year. In total, 3D repped 45% of all Martian ticket sales.

Remarking on the 3D rebound, RealD President of Worldwide Cinema Anthony Marcoly said, “Studios have gotten wise not to release every movie in 3D. You have to give audiences a compelling reason to go; experiences that put them on Mars in The Martian or in Jurassic World. Filmmakers like Ridley Scott have used 3D incredibly well.”

Premium large format screens at 375 generated $6M (compare this to the $1.55M that The Walk made at 338 Imax and PLF screens), repping 11% of Martian‘s take-off. Cinemark made $1.14M of that number. Martian’s Saturday posted a 23% uptick over Friday per Fox with $22.3M. The top 20 markets that over-performed include San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle, Boston, Denver, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Portland. Canada repped a strong 8.2% of the weekend.

Everyone in both Hollywood and the real world seems to adore the Ridley Scott-directed film. When Matt Damon’s name appeared in the end credits during a SAG Cinema Society screening today, the crowd thundered a solid applause. In addition to that A CinemaScore, Martian earned 4 1/2 stars from audiences polled by Rentrak’s Postrak. Under 25ers gave it an A+.  Older males filled auditoriums at 56% males, 72% over 25. Entertainment social-media monitor RelishMix reports that YouTube views for The Martian since Friday have clocked an additional 4M with the No.1 spot hitting over 200k views, which is exceptional. #TheMartian Twitter hashtags skyrocketed from 5k to 14k on Saturday.

hotel transylvania 2Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 got a huge boost from matinees, posting a 110% surge over Friday for $15.7M. This is 10% greater than where the industry predicted it was heading, and now HT2‘s second frame is looking like $33M $34.4M this morning from Sony’s p.o.v, off just 32% from it first weekend take of $48.5M. By the end of Sunday, HT2 is looking at $90.5M $92M, 18% ahead of HT1 through 10 days.

Lionsgate’s Sicario is currently shooting Warner Bros.’ The Intern in the knees for third. The drug trafficking film’s third weekend wide expansion is collecting $12.08M at 2,620 for a running cume of $15.076M. 85% of the crowd for this R-rated film were over 25, slightly more than the 83% who showed up last weekend. In addition to the film’s rave reviews out of sicario 9the Cannes and Toronto film fests, Lionsgate tailored a media plan for Sicario aimed at male adults (which they pulled in at 55%) running TV spots during fall sports and prime TV series premieres. Media was scheduled on AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery, ESPN, FX, History and USA. In addition, there was a robust Hispanic campaign aimed at males, with promos on Univision, Telemundo, Univision Deportes, UniMas, and El Rey; as well as covers on Alma Magazine and Vanidades and an inside feature in People En Espanol. Digital included targeted content debuts on iTunes, Fandango, Yahoo, Entertainment Weekly, IMDb, Hitfix and YouTube. There was even a Twitter game related to Sicario called “Cartel Ciphers,” where fans can play as undercover agents. 

The Intern didn’t need to run into the bathroom and cry just because it was demoted to fourth place at the box office. There’s plenty for the Nancy Meyers’ comedy to relish this weekend as audiences shelled out $11.6M, repping a -34% hold from its $17.7M opening weekend with a 10-day cume of $36.5M — that’s 9% ahead of Meyers’ Something’s Gotta Give through its second weekend. The Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton comedy had the advantage of playing during the 2003 holiday period and posted a final cume of $124.7M. The Intern currently benefits from being the only wide release out there for older females, before Sandra Bullock’s Our Brand Is Crisis opens at the end of the month.

20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is on track for a $7.65 third weekend per the studio for an estimated cume by end of Sunday of $63.2M– trailing Maze Runner by 14% versus the same period in its play.

The-WalkSony/TriStar’s Imax platform preview The Walk beat industry expectations on Saturday. Many thought yesterday’s biz would be +35% over Friday; it wasn’t — it was up 79% 81% over Friday with Saturday ringing up $700K per Sony $715K. The Walk is still looking at an 11th spot on the weekend B.O. chart with a studio-reported $1.55M over FSS and a shot at clearing $2M over five days. Per screen here for Walk at 448 hubs is $3,460, which greatly pales in comparison to the opening screen average for Universal’s Everest‘s $13,251. However, Everest is down close to 60% this weekend after losing all of its Imax playdates to The Walk. 

Releasing a movie in a limited number of Imax and PLF venues is a high wire act. And there are many folks this morning, not just rival distribution executives, who think Sony and Universal respectively left a lot of money on the table with the large format openings for The Walk and Everest. “All this does is let the air out of the tires,” griped one film marketing guru. This is a competitive business and to start off slow, well, it’s going to be a challenge to hit top speed. Criticized another studio executive about Everest and The Walk‘s large format rollouts, “Imax, PLF, 3D — these are all choices we offer a consumer when they decide to go to the movies. When you tell them this is suppose to be the only way to see this film, and that all those other 2D screens don’t count, you’re force feeding them, and that’s a dangerous maneuver.” Despite its PG rating, The Walk is perceived as an adult film; it’s not the type of film that the core 18-24 Imax demo zooms toward.

Some argue, “But you can’t compare Walk to Everest!” Um, you have to: both were largely sold on their Imax spectacle and platform rollout. Drilling down further: 365 of those 448 hubs were Imax, which rang up $1.8M to date.

The top 10 films per studio-reported figures as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka:

1). The Martian (FOX), 3,831 theaters / $18.1M Fri. */ $22.3M Sat. (+23%) / $14.6M Sun. (-34%) /3-day cume: $55M /Wk 1
*includes Thursday previews of $2.5M.

2). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters (0) / $7.5M Fri. /$15.7M Sat. (+110%) / $9.8M Sun. (-37%) / 3-day cume: $33M (-32%) / Total cume: $90.5M /Wk 2
Industry average: 3-day cume: $33.6M (-31%) / Total cume: $91.1M /Wk 2

3). Sicario (LGF), 2,620 theaters (+2561) / $4.3M Fri. /$4.7M Sat. (+9%) / $3.1M Sun. (-33%) /3-day cume: $12.1M (+603%) /Total cume: $15.1M /Wk 2
Industry average:  3-day cume: $11.8M (+592%)/Total cume: $14.8M /Wk 2

4). The Intern (WB), 3,320 theaters (+15)/ $3.6M Fri. / $5.2M Sat. (+45%) / $2.9M Sun. (-45%) /3-day cume: $11.6M (-34%)/Total cume: $36.5M/Wk 1

5). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,319 theaters (-473)/ $2.1M Fri. /$3.7M Sat. (+72%) / $1.9M Sun. (-49%) / 3-day cume: $7.65M (-46%)/ Total cume: $63.2M/Wk 3

6). Black Mass (WB), 2,768 theaters (-420)/ $1.8M Fri. / $2.6M Sat. (+47%) / $1.46M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $5.9M (-46%)/Total cume: $52.5M /Wk 3

7). Everest (UNI), 3,009 theaters (+3) / $1.6M Fri. / $2.5M Sat. (+56%) / $1.4M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $5.5M (-58%) /Total cume: $33.2M/Wk 3

8). The Visit (UNI), 2,296 theaters (-671)/ $1.2M Fri. / $1.9M Sat. (+64%) / $861K Sun. (-55%) /3-day cume: $3.9M (-41%) / Total cume: $57.7M / Wk 4

9). War Room (SONY), 1,746 theaters (-174) / $790K Fri. /$1.2M Sat. (+50%) / $825K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $2.8M (-34%)/ Total cume: $60.5M/ Wk 6

10). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,364 theaters (-525) / $685K Fri. /1.15$M Sat. (+66%) / $656K Sun. (-51%) / 3-day cume: $2.4M (-50%)/ Total cume: $52.6M /Wk 4

11). The Walk (SONY), 448 theaters / $390K Fri. / $700K Sat. (+79%) / $460K Sun. (-34%) / 3-day cume: $1.55M /Total cume: $2M/Wk 1
Bowed Wednesday

Notables:

The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,543 theaters (+3) / $392K Fri./ $538K Sat. (+37%) / $350K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $1.28M (-64%)/Total cume: $5.9M /Wk 2

Singh Is Bling (ERP), 140 theaters / $130K Fri. / $212K Sat. (+63%) / $117K Sun. (-45%) /3-day cume: $459K /Wk 1

Etiquette For Mistresses (ABS), 100 theaters / $99K Fri. / $124K Sat. (+25%) / $74K Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $297K /Wk 1

Puli (Tamil) (AIM), 100 theaters / $71K Fri. / $89K Sat. (+25%) / $49K Sun. (-45%) /3-day cume: $209K /Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 19 theaters (+17) / $26K Fri. /$48K Sat. (+82%) / $31K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $106K (+229%) /Total cume: 148K / Wk 2

Hell And Back (FREE), 412 theaters / $33K Fri. /$43K Sat. (+33%) / $24K Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $99K /Wk 1

He Named Me Malala (FSL), 4 theaters / $28K Fri. /$16K Sat. (-42%) / $13K Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $56K / Per screen: $14K / Wk 1

Freeheld (LGF), 5 theaters / $14K Fri. / /$15K Sat. (+4%) / $11K Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $40K/Wk 1

Maria Montez (IND), 3 theaters / $7K Fri. /$5K Sat. (-26%) / $4K Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume:$16K /Wk 1

4TH UPDATE after 3RD UPDATE, Saturday 10AM after 1:15AM post: Updated with Saturday AM figures There’s historic flash flooding in the Carolinas and folks are fleeing Hurricane Joaquin, but 20th Century Fox’s The Martian is keeping the multiplexes dry in the rest of the country, as the Ridley Scott film is within the atmosphere of possibly breaking the $55.8M October opening record set by Warner Bros.’ Gravity exactly two years ago. Bullish results stem from Joaquin bypassing mega cinema-polis New York.  Currently, The Martian is set to make $55M for the weekend, however, that A CinemasScore, which bests Gravity‘s A-, could fuel Saturday’s spike higher than where everyone sees it, which is at +25% over Friday. Gravity‘s grade blasted it off to a 4.9x for a $274.1M domestic cume.

The MartianThe Martian’s Friday $18M haul easily beats Gravity‘s $17.48M opening day.  Currently, The Martian‘s estimated $55M weekend is the second highest not only for October, but for director Scott (after 2001’s Hannibal with $58M) and leading man Matt Damon (after 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum $69.3M). Two thirds of Martian’s 3,831 theaters are in 3D. Sources say that The Martian‘s audience is quite similar to Gravity’s — 54% men and 59% over 35. Should Joaquin’s mayhem cut into the theaters’ cash drawers, the buzz is so dynamic on Martian with the one-two punch of great reviews and dynamic word-of-mouth that it’s going to transport it to higher echelons at the B.O. this fall. Private level PLF screens are having an awesome gravitational pull for Martian, racking up an estimated $2M yesterday and a projected $6.5M for the weekend. That figure decimates Sony’s The Walk, which is making a paltry $1.28M at 448 largely Imax venues. The whole notion of the Imax platform raises the question: Shouldn’t Sony have just waited this Martian storm out and released The Walk wide with Imax next weekend?

sicarioLionsgate’s Sicario also grabbed the grownup crowd Friday night, with an A- CinemaScore. Next to other Emily Blunt shoot-‘em-up fare, Sicario hits the bull’s eye: Edge Of Tomorrow earned a B+, while Looper earned a B. Sicario is looking at $4.2M yesterday, with an FSS of $11.8M in its third-weekend wide expansion, landing the Denis Villeneuve-directed film in third place. Warner Bros’ The Intern is also doing fantastic, with an estimated $11.65M in fourth. It’s got that Nancy Meyers’ magical sleeper hold, down only 34% in its second sesh, a dip that’s not too far from the 29% drop posted by the director’s 2003 Something’s Gotta Give, which opened to $16.06M (Intern was better at $17.7M) and legged out 7.76X to $124.7M.

However, not everyone was dancing in the stratosphere Friday. Sony TriStar’s The Walk isn’t cracking the top 10 this weekend, with an estimated take of $1.7M over five days, well below the $3M Sony expected. (On the upside, Friday’s gross is +116% from Thursday, but the film is not performing at the same level as Everest, which the walk 4debuted to $7.2M at 545 theaters.) Luckily, Sony has Hotel Transylvania 2 in second place which is looking at an estimated cume of $91M $89M through 10 days, propped by Hispanic audiences and a multi-faced marketing campaign with Univision. Keep in mind the following: Everest had more PLF digital screens, which easily can add showtimes in response to demand, while The Walk largely is relegated to the set times of its Imax hubs. Still, Sony is hopeful for the film as it heads into awards season, given its critical acclaim with an 86% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Rival distribs are approaching their analysis of The Walk as though the film fell off its high-wire Imax act and splatted on the pavement. But for Sony, they’re just getting started this weekend, with a promising expansion to 2,500 venues next Friday. The studio also has the fresher adult title in the market next weekend as the $150M family film Pan from Warner Bros. isn’t tracking enough to put it in the black. There’s been some criticism that audiences can’t stomach the dizzying heights in The Walk. However at a recent Pete Hammond KCET awards screening, which counts a senior demo, nobody passed out from vertigo. Nor was anyone seen running out of the New York Film Festival premiere in search of an oxygen tank (or a commode).

The domestic Imax rollout for both Everest and The Walk are novel and bold attempts to grab headlines about screen averages, and to launch adult movies in a crowded landscape. It hasn’t really been done before, and one day this type of rollout may actually click perfectly as the number of Imax venues swells. But here’s what’s happening this weekend: Everest is suffering with a 60% third-frame tumble after losing a majority of its Imax screens to The Walk. And The Walk isn’t blowing everyone’s toupees off with Everest’s inventory. Through three weekends, Everest has tallied $32.9M, which arguably could have been generated the same way if it was just a straight up wide release with Imax, instead of this see-saw rollout. On a global level, Uni played its chess pieces well. The big get here with Everest was international, which reps over 70% of the worldwide gross. After this weekend, it’s even more of an avalanche for Everest stateside.

everestRemember when 20th Century Fox opened Borat in 837 theaters and made $26.5M? It was a phenomenal limited launch chalking up a $32K theater average, all made in 2D. When Borat expanded in its second weekend to 2,566 theaters, it made another $28.3M. Borat made close to 5x its opening, with a final cume of $128.5M. Granted, Borat is not the comp here, but it points to what Uni and Sony were gunning for here: A jawdropping first weekend number-wise at a limited number of playdates, followed by an even bigger second weekend when they go wide, showing the prowess of the film brand and the genius of the platform. Part of the intent is to use Imax to wind up a film and watch it go, but there arguably aren’t that many venues to make this happen just yet. Either that, or this type of rollout requires an even greater zeitgeist title. (It’s jarring that The Walk isn’t performing better, as Robert Zemeckis’ re-creation of the World Trade Center in Imax 3D rivals James Cameron’s use of the format in Avatar).

However, the big gamble with the Imax platform going forward is that the distributor has to hope and pray that the film’s content surpasses its visual wonder, because once those Imax bookings go away (and they will because they are promised to other movies over specified intervals), the film’s only parachute is PLF, 3D and 2D. And will audiences want to see Everest and The Walk, films which were shot and built for Imax, in PLF 3D or even 2D?

The top 10 titles and notables per industry estimates for the weekend of Oct. 2-4 as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka and revised this morning:

1). The Martian (FOX), 3,831 theaters / $18.06M Fri.*/ 3-day cume: $55.04M /Wk 1
*includes $2.5M in Thursday previews

2). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters (0) / $7.46M Fri. (-44%)/ 3-day cume: $31.7M(-35%) / Total cume: $89.3M /Wk 2

3). Sicario (LGF), 2,620 theaters (+2561) / $4.2M Fri. (+653%)/3-day cume: $11.8M (+594%)/Total cume: $14.8M /Wk 3

4). The Intern (WB), 3,320 theaters (+15)/ $3.56M Fri. (-43%) / 3-day cume: $11.65M (-34%)/Total cume: $36.6M/Wk 1

5). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,319 theaters (-473)/ $2.1M Fri. (-49%) / 3-day cume:$7.3M (-49%)/ Total cume: $62.9M/Wk 3

6). Black Mass (WB), 2,768 theaters (-420)/ $1.8M Fri. (-49%)/ 3-day cume: $5.8M(-47%)/Total cume: $52.4M /Wk 3

7). Everest (UNI), 3,009 theaters (+3) / $1.6M Fri. (-60%) / 3-day cume: $5.3M (-60%) /Total cume: $32.9M/Wk 3

8). The Visit (UNI), 2,296 theaters (-671)/ $1.17M Fri. (-42%)/ 3-day cume: $3.88M (-42%) / Total cume: $57.6M / Wk 4

9). War Room (SONY), 1,746 theaters (-174) / $791K Fri. (-38%)/ 3-day cume: $2.6M (-39%)/ Total cume: $60.4M/ Wk 6

10). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,364 theaters (-525) / $683K Fri. (-53%)/ 3-day cume: $2.28M(-52%)/ Total cume: $52.5M /Wk 4

11). The Walk (SONY), 448 theaters / $394K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.28M /Total cume: 1.7M /Wk 1

*Bowed Wednesday

Notables: 

The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,543 theaters (0) / $393K Fri.  (-73%)/ 3-day cume: $1.2M(-66%)/Total cume: $5.8M /Wk 2

Etiquette For Mistresses (ABS), 100 theaters / $99K Fri. / 3-day cume: $321 /Wk 1

Puli (Tamil) (AIM), 100 theaters / $71K Fri. / 3-day cume: $209K /Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 19 theaters (+17) / $26K Fri. / 3-day cume: $96K (+199%) /Total cume: $138K / Wk 2

He Named Me Malala (FSL), 4 theaters / $27K Fri. / 3-day cume: $84K / Per screen: $21K / Wk 1

Freeheld (LGF), 5 theaters / $14K Fri. / 3-day cume: $45K /Wk 1

2ND UPDATE, Friday 1:54PM: 20th Century Fox’s The Martian is conquering the weekend. Friday looks to be $17M-$18M with a three-day opening of $48M-$50M. Should the Ridley Scott film hit the upper part of that estimate, it easily will rank as one of the top four October openers. Rentrak’s PostTrak, which polls throughout the weekend starting on Thursdays, not just on opening day, currently sees 56% guys turning out for the film with 69% over 25. And 66% of the audience is giving the film a definite recommend. Again, it’s early, so these polls could change in the next day.

sicarioIn second is Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 with an estimated $6.3M in its second Friday and a second weekend of $26M, down about 46%. Through 10 days, Dracula’s auberge de comedia will see just over $83M, pacing 8% ahead of 2012’s Hotel Transylvania over the same period. Lionsgate’s Sicario is surging in its wide expansion with an estimated $4M Friday and a weekend that’s between $10M-$11M, raising its cume to $14M-$15M. Warner Bros.’ The Intern is projected to cash in $3.4M and a second sesh that’s also between $10M-$11M, taking its cume north of $35M. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is running toward $1.8M today with a third weekend of $6.4M, down 55% for a 17-day cume by Sunday of $62M, which is 16% behind the first film.

the-walk-joseph-gordon-levittComing up short, way short, is Sony TriStar’s The Walk, which is expected to post a $1.5M FSS for a five day of $1.9M. When it comes to shelling out for a premium large-format ticket this weekend, rival distribs believe that audiences are choosing The Martian in PLF, not The Walk. Also there’s the notion that The Walk is coming out too soon on the heels of Everest as the novelty Imax film in the market — that Imax aficionados already have OD’d on the snowy mountain and don’t want to relive the World Trade Center (even though it’s portrayed here in a very positive light).

1st UPDATE, Friday 7:38AM: NASA discovered water on Mars this week, and now 20th Century Fox found money from The the-martianMartian in its bank account with Thursday night previews racking up an impressive $2.5M. By comparison, Warner Bros’ Gravity, which holds the October opening record with $55.8M, made $1.4M from Thursday previews starting at 10PM. The Martian was in play at 2,800 engagements last night and moves to 3,831 today. Among all titles in play yesterday, The Martian made the most, beating Hotel Transylvania 2 which made an estimated $1.8M for a week’s cume of $57.6M. Last night’s numbers for The Martian will be rolled into Friday’s figures.

The Ridley Scott-directed Martian follows a Mars astronaut, portrayed by Matt Damon, who is stranded by his crew on the red planet. The film features an all-star cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Michael Pena. Reviews coming out of Toronto were hot and critics have stamped the film a 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s going to be a big weekend at the box office for Scott with Fox expecting a FSS in the low $40Ms, propelled by premium large-format and 3D-screen rocket fuel. The director’s top three opening titles include Hannibal ($58M), Prometheus ($51.1M) and American Gangster ($43.6M). Last December, and in no way is this a comp to The Martian, Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings made $1.2M in Thursday previews from 2,500 theaters, before posting a three-day opening of $24.1M.

the walk 2Sony TriStar’s The Walk, after ranking No. 11 on Wednesday with $240K, fell 24% on Thursday making an estimated $182K in the No. 10 spot for a two-day take of $422K. Midweek in the autumn, during a time when kids are in school, is just not a prime time to open an Imax movie. Today will be the true test whether The Walk will scale to bigger heights, though the buzz is that The Martian is vacuuming up all the weekend ticket pre-sales. Similar to Universal’s platform of Everest a couple of weekends ago, The Walk‘s release in 448 Imax locations is a clever way of rolling out a film in what is an extremely crowded adult market. Sony’s expectation is that The Walk makes $3M over five days, which would be less than the FSS $7.2M opening that Everest posted.

Lionsgate’s Sicario after playing in 59 theaters in its second session, expands to 2,620 theaters today, making it the third frosh wide release. The Denis Villeneuve-directed film made $132K in 59 locations yesterday for an awesome daily per theater of $2,237 (versus The Walk‘s $406). That raises its cume through two weeks to an estimated $3M.