Weekend Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Rises Above An Unforgiving Landscape Of Flops

In last week’s box-office report, the story was flops, ranging from Vin Diesel fighting witches (The Last Witch Hunter) to Michael Fassbender spewing smugness in endless hallways (Steve Jobs), with Paranormal Activity 3, Rock the Kasbah, and Jem and the Holograms also stinking up the joint for good measure. Also bombing recently were Pan, Crimson Peak, and The Walk. The trend continued this week, and in fact, it was the worst weekend of 2015.

This week’s victims? Burnt, the Bradley Cooper cooking movie, which earned just $5 million and landed in fifth. Our Brand Is Crisis (my review), in which Sandra Bullock learns a valuable lesson about Bolivian politics, debuted at eighth, with $3.43 million. On fewer screens, but earning less per screen, was Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, which earned $1.77 million in 1,509 locations.

Burnt and Brand were historic misses for Cooper and Bullock. Brand was Bullock’s worst opening by a margin, and Burnt managed to flop even harder than Aloha, in which Emma Stone played an Asian. Cinemascores were B- for Burnt, C+ for Our Brand Is Crisis. On RottenTomatoes, Burnt earned a 29 percent recommended rating while Our Brand Is Crisis scored 33 percent.

With only $3.4 million, the opening weekend for Our Brand is Crisis falls below even Two if by Sea, which opened with $4.6 million in 1996. Even that opening, however, translates to $8.7 million when adjusted to today’s ticket prices. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Yeah. So, they weren’t good.

So, what was the number one movie of the weekend? That would be The Martian, in its fifth week of release, which is now $5 million behind Interstellar‘s domestic total, and $4.8 million away from becoming Ridley Scott’s highest-grossing film of all time. It has thus far earned $428.4 million. Which should prove that for all the “shocking” flops out there this time of year, a genuine crowd pleaser (my review) still plays.

Virtually all of the recent failures were varying degrees of bad or derivative, to say nothing of the fact that there were just too many of them. Even asking why Steve Jobs failed (but it was so well made!) is sort of like asking why people aren’t as excited to eat the same meal the 15th time as they were the first. Wait, a biopic that comes down to daddy issues? You don’t say. It’s also quite possible that people just don’t care about Steve Jobs nearly as much as previously assumed.

Also, and this is neither here nor there, but War Room has thus far made $66 million, placing it just ahead of Magic Mike XXL on the year-to-date chart. It’s clearly a case of strangely-applied religious fundamentalism triumphing over hip-thrusting and crotch-rubbing. Sad.

In any case, the box-office doldrums will most likely end this Friday, when Spectre hits. It’s already made $80 million overseas, because people love Daniel Craig in sleek turtlenecks. The other wide release is The Peanuts Movie, and the start of a limited release for Brooklyn, which is god-damned wonderful. But don’t worry, I’ll probably shout about that a lot more before it hits your town.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Martian $11,400,000 (-27.5%) $3,543 $182,806,000
2 Goosebumps $10,210,000 (-34.2%) $2,822 $57,104,000
3 Bridge of Spies $8,060,000 (-29.1%) $2,802 $45,202,000
4 Hotel Transylvania 2 $5,830,000 (-34.4%) $1,968 $156,004,000
5 Burnt $5,038,000
$1,678 $5,038,000
6 The Last Witch Hunter $4,750,000 (-56.1%) $1,541 $18,612,000
7 Paranormal Activity $3,450,000 (-57.3%) $2,255 $13,569,000
8 Our Brand is Crisis $3,430,000 $1,558 $3,430,000
9 Crimson Peak $3,110,000 (-45.1%) $1,473 $27,745,000
10 Steve Jobs $2,580,000 (-63.7%) $1,035 $14,540,000

(Via ScreenCrush)

Vince Mancini is a writer and comedian living in San Francisco. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.

Now Watch: China Changes One-Child Policy After 36 Years