There were five new releases this weekend at the box office, and the top three spots were all occupied by holdovers: The Martian led the way in its fourth week with $15. 9 million ($166 million cumulative). Goosebumps came in second with $15.5 million ($43 million, cume); and Bridge of Spies came in third with $11.3 million, holding well (as is often the case with Tom Hanks’ movies), bringing its ten-day total to $32 million.
Here’s where the shit-show begins: Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter could only manage $10.8 million, despite an $85 million budget, demonstrating that Vin Diesel’s box-office prowess does not extend beyond The Fast and Furious (mostly, because his movies are bad, outside of The Fast and Furious).
Hotel Transylvania 2 held well in its fifth week, adding another $9 million to bring its total to $148 million, giving it a strong shot at becoming Adam Sandler’s biggest film to date (Big Daddy’s) $163 million currently holds that title).
In at number sixth, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension put up a hugely disappointing $8.2 million, in large part because most theaters would not show it because of a deal Blumhouse Pictures made to release it on VOD only 17 days after its release (in fact, I was supposed to review it this weekend, but it didn’t open anywhere within two hours of me, which is too bad for the franchise because I’m one of its few defenders).
It gets worse! Steve Jobs expanded to 2500 theaters, and ended the weekend with a disappointing $7.9 million and must hope for awards-season buzz to salvage its box-office prospects.
Then it gets really bad: Bill Murray’s Rock the Kasbah (review forthcoming) absolutely tanked, making only $1.5 million, making it the 5th worst wide opening of all time. However, even Kasbah will be overshadowed in its failure by Jem and the Holograms, which could only manage a meager $1.3 million, making it the fourth worst opening in the history of the box office, for films opening in more than 2000 theaters.
That’s right: The 4th and 5th worst openings in modern box-office history happened on the same weekend. To put that in perspective, The Adventures of Pluto Nash made $2.2 million, nearly $1 million more than Jem 13 years ago.
Interestingly, Jason Blum was behind both Ghost Dimension and Jem, but because he makes movies on such a small budget, both films will likely earn a profit once International figures are added in (in fact, Ghost Dimension put up $18 million worldwide this weekend, meaning that it’s made $26 million so far on a $10 million budget).