Weekend Box Office: Pan, Petit No Match for Matt and Drac

Two new releases proved to be no match for either Fox’s The Martian or Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 this weekend at the North American box office. Warner’s pricey fantasy epic Pan became the latest misfire for the studio while the acclaimed Robert Zemeckis drama The Walk tripped in its first week of national release.

Originally scheduled for release this past July, the Peter Pan origin story Pan crashed and burned with a third place finish of $15.5 million from 3,515 theaters. Critical notices for the $150 million fantasy starring Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara –as a white Tiger Lilly- were downright brutal. They gave the film a 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Family audiences, who usually ignore reviews when hitting matinees, actually took heed of the warnings. They also probably rolled their eyes at the wall-to-wall, overly busy television ads.

The Joe Wright production joins fellow Warner duds Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Disney disaster Tomorrowland and Fox’s The Fantastic Four on the short list of high priced, low grossing bombs. There is the possibility that the film will play well enough overseas that the losses for the studio may be softened a bit, but to do that it would have to earn at least $400 million.

Another box office misfire entering theaters nationwide was Sony’s drama The Walk with a weak $3.65 million from 2,509 theaters, which landed the film in seventh place. With its one-week IMAX exclusive run factored in, the film’s overall total stands at $6.3 million. Unlike Pan, The Walk cost a mere $35 million to make. Should the film catch on with overseas audiences, there is a good chance the studio will recoup its costs and possibly even see a profit.

Also unlike the Peter Pan flop, critics actually enjoyed the Zemeckis recreation of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers. The film earned a strong 86% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the admiration from the scribes, the debut for The Walk represents the lowest opening for a Zemeckis-directed feature since 1984’s Romancing the Stone.

One new release making a lot of noise –and money- is Universal’s Steve Jobs. The Danny Boyle drama about the Apple co-founder won over the critics (89% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) and played to four packed houses in New York and Los Angeles, where it earned a superb $521,000. The film’s $132,000 per screen average is the best of 2015 so far. The feature expands next weekend prior to opening nationwide on October 23rd.

Weak newcomers and strong word-of-mouth from ticket buyers helped keep Fox’s The Martian at the top of the box office heap. The Ridley Scott blockbuster dropped a mere 32% to earn an estimated $37 million from 3,854 theaters. After ten days, the film’s domestic total stands at $108.7 million with an additional $119 million coming in from international markets. Should the film continue to hold strong, it could break the $200 million domestic mark by the end of the year.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 also stayed strong in its third week of release. The Adam Sandler-voiced cartoon dropped only 39% to earn an estimated $20.3 million from 3,768 theaters, bringing its domestic total to $117 million. Foreign grosses for the animated feature currently stand at $90 million.

The top ten was as follows:

  • The Martian (Fox) $37 million (-32%); $108 million
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony) $20.3 million; $117 million
  • Pan (Warner) $15.5 million
  • The Intern (Warner) $8.6 million (-26%); $49.5 million
  • Sicario (Lionsgate) $7.35 million (-40%); $26.7 million
  • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Fox) $5.2 million; $71 million
  • The Walk (Sony) $3.65 million; $6.3 million
  • Black Mass (Warner) $3.1 million (-46%); $57.5 million
  • Everest (Universal) $3 million (-47%); $38 million
  • The Visit (Universal) $2.4 million (-46%); $61 million


On Friday, Bridge of Spies, Crimson Peak and Goosebumps open in wide release.

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