20th Century Fox’s Ridley Scott film The Martian will have plenty of B.O. rocket fuel in it to land at No. 1 this weekend with an estimated $33M-$34M. That’s a -38% hold which would best the second frame declines of Scott’s biggest grossers, Prometheus (-59%, during a competitive June play period) and American Gangster (-45%). Multiplex lobbies could potentially see some extra crowds thanks to the Columbus Day weekend holiday, which is is bigger in the Northeast than the rest of the country. Rentrak reports 14% schools K-12 off on Friday with another 40% on break this Monday.
Warner Bros.’ Joe Wright take on Pan is looking at a low FSS of $20M at 3,515 theaters in both 2D and 3D. Low $20Ms is not a bad opening at this time of the year. Thursday previews start at 6 P.M. However, it’s a bad opening when your film cost a reported $150M. According to iSpotTV, which independently monitors studios’ TV ad spend, WB has spent another $27.8M on U.S. Pan spots running during NFL Football, The Kids Choice Sports Awards and America’s Got Talent. WB moved Pan out of the competitive July 24 summer space to this weekend. It’s up to foreign to save this one, especially since it has a October 22 China debut. Sources say that reshoots drove up the budget on this Wright epic, which follows the origins of J.M. Barrie’s Neverland characters. Hugh Jackman plays Blackbeard, Rooney Mara is Tiger Lilly, Levi Miller portrays Peter Pan and Garrett Hedlund, Amanda Seyfried and Adeel Akhtar also star. To date Pan has made over $4M in Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. 60% of the film’s territories go out this weekend including Russia, Germany, Spain, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. U.K. is scheduled for Oct. 16, followed by France on Oct. 21 and Japan on Halloween.
Sony TriStar’s Twin Towers tightrope walker biopic The Walk expands from its 448 Imax and PLF venues to 2,500-plus theaters. No Thursday previews. A $5M opening for The Walk is projected. While many have flogged this visually, brilliant film by Robert Zemeckis over its less-than-spectacular opening last weekend of $1.55M (The Walk was beat at the weekend box office by the MET’s Il Trovatore which made $1.75M in only one day), it has a better chance at being in the black on a worldwide basis than poor Pan given its reported $35M budget. To date iSpot observes that Sony TriStar has only spent under $10M on TV spots for The Walk which have aired since the beginning of September on programs like NFL Football, Blindspot, ESPN Sports Center and Fear the Walking Dead.
Universal/Legendary is releasing their Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs biopic from director Danny Boyle in Los Angeles and New York before expanding on October 16 and 23. The film is propped by a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, which is great news as great reviews are the key driver here. Industry sources say that the film needs to make $75K per theater in order to be considered a decent limited launch. Per iSpotTV, Uni has shelled out $14.45M on TV spots running on NBC, CBS, Fox, AMC and Comedy Central.
Focus World is finally releasing Stephen Daldry’s Trash which also stars Mara. It will be at the Sundance Cinema in Los Angeles and the AMC Empire in New York as well as Digital HD and OnDemand. Set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Trash follows three kids who come across a wallet that is highly coveted by the police. The children wind up finding protection in a priest (Martin Sheen) and his assistant (Mara) as they soon realize that the wallet they’ve stumbled on is highly valuable from a political perspective.
Brian Brooks will weigh in on what’s opening on the indie side tomorrow.