Alice in Wonderland is surely the film Warner Bros. was looking to emulate with Pan, their Peter Pan origin story, but where that film opened to $116 million on its way to more than a billion worldwide back in 2010, Pan hobbled its way to an estimated $15 million domestic opening, on a $155 million budget. That was third for the weekend, behind The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2. You know it’s bad when people compare it to John Carter.
For comparison, that’s a noticeably worse debut than Tomorrowland ($33m), John Carter ($30m), The Lone Ranger ($29m), Jack the Giant Slayer ($27m), and Battleship ($25m). […] The film played 55% female but 52% over 25, which means kids didn’t show up to the very much kid-targeted movie. [Forbes]
Tracking reports had the film opening in the low $20 million range. […] In the end, Pan is looking at a overall domestic haul in the $32-35 million range. [BoxOfficeMojo]
We don’t need to Monday morning quarterback this one to death, but I would suggest an origin story about a character before he had any special powers, where the biggest selling point was a villain we didn’t know much about other than that he dressed funny, was fighting an uphill battle. Also, there has to be some kind of correlation between a trailer where someone shouts some piece of transparent exposition — like “WELCOME, TO NEVERLAND!” or “you are… John Carter” — and box office flops. That never seems to be a good sign. Not to mention that with Pan (unlike John Carter, which I will defend to my dying day), the movie itself was kind of bland. Which is a crazy thing to say about a movie with flying pirate ships getting attacked by Nazi fighter planes, but there you go.
Elsewhere, The Martian is still kicking ass, dropping only 32% off its opening weekend, and could challenge The Bourne Ultimatum for Matt Damon’s all-time highest grosser ($227.4 million) if everything continues to go shockingly well for it. Steve Jobs also did well in limited release, earning a near-record $130,236 per screen. Compare that to the other limited releases of the weekend, $1,536 per theater for He Named Me Malala and $913 for 99 Homes. Or $588 for Stephen Daldry’s Trash.
But if we’re talking about poor openings, we can’t leave out The Walk, the “seventh worst bow for a movie opening in 2,500 theaters or more.”
The idea with that one was to open it as a limited engagement on IMAX screens to build buzz for the expansion this week. Clearly that didn’t work, as last week’s $1.9 million gross on 448 screens ($3,483 average) turned into $3.65 million on 2,509 screens this week ($1,455 per screen). Bottom line, its lifetime gross is currently sitting at $6.3 million on a $35 million budget, and it doesn’t look poised for a comeback. Everest, another eye-candy IMAX spectacle movie hasn’t fared especially well either, at $38 million on a $55 million budget (though it’s made a lot more overseas). For comparison, War Room, the weird faith-based domestic drama, has thus far earned $63 million on a three million dollar budget. God beats science, clearly.
Next week brings us Steve Jobs expanding wide, Bridge of Spies, Guillermo Del Toro’s “gothic romance” Crimson Peak, Goosebumps, and Woodlawn, another “faith-based” drama from PureFlix. Don’t think producers haven’t been paying attention.
1. The Martian (weekend) $37M (cumulative) $108.7M
2. Hotel Transylvania 2 $20.3M $116.8M
3. Pan $15.5M $15.5M
4. The Intern $8.7M $49.6M
5. Sicario $7.4M $26.7M
6. The Scorch Trials $5.3M $70.6M
7. The Walk $3.7M $6.4M
8. Black Mass $3.1M $57.6M
9. Everest $3M $38.2M
10. The Visit $2.4M $61.1M