'Pan' flops with $15.5 Million, 'The Martian' keeps top spot

Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:57pm EDT
 
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By Brent Lang

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Pan" walked the plank over the Columbus Day Weekend.

Warner Bros. spent $150 million to bring the Neverland adventure to screens and millions more in marketing, but the big-budget fantasy mustered a puny $15.5 million opening. That debut puts "Pan" alongside "The Fantastic Four" and "Tomorrowland" in the pantheon of the year's most punishing flops.

"It's a huge misfire," said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, adding, "We won't see another Peter Pan film for awhile."

"Pan's" backers weren't the only ones having a rough weekend. Sony's "The Walk" stumbled in its wide release, expanding from 448 Imax and premium large format theaters to more than 2,500 locations, and eking out $3.6 million in the process. The biopic about Philippe Petit's daring high-wire walk between the Twin Towers cost $35 million to produce and has clear Oscar ambitions for director Robert Zemeckis and the technical team behind the film. It has made a paltry $6.4 million in its initial two weeks. The Sony team seems discouraged that positive reviews for the picture's innovative use of 3D and strong word-of-mouth hasn't lifted "The Walk" higher.

"It's a conundrum why more folks didn't come out, because once you see it, it's one of those films that you never forget," said Rory Bruer, Sony's distribution chief. "It's a picture that everybody put their heart and soul into."

With the new major studio releases teetering, Fox's "The Martian" stabilized overall ticket sales. The space thriller slipped a modest 32% in its second weekend, nabbing $37 million and pushing its domestic total to $108.7 million. Sony's "Hotel Transylvania 2" also showed impressive endurance, racking up $20.3 million in its third weekend and bringing its stateside haul to $116.8 million.

With "Pan" finishing in third place, the top five was rounded out by Warner Bros.' "The Intern" and Lionsgate's "Sicario," which earned $8.7 million and $7.3 million, respectively. "The Intern" has generated $49.6 million in receipts, while "Sicario's" total stands at $26.7 million.

In limited release, Universal's "Steve Jobs" scored, pulling in $521,000 across four theaters for a per-screen average of $130,236. That ranks as the best theater average of the year, and nicely positions the film about the Apple co-founder for its wide release launch on Oct. 23.   Continued...

 
Actor Hugh Jackman arrives for the world premiere of "Pan" at Leicester Square in London, Britain September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor