Box Office Massacre: 'Last Witch Hunter,' 'Paranormal Activity 6' and 'Steve Jobs' Flop
By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - It was a pre-Halloween massacre at the multiplexes.
Four new films, including "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" and Vin Diesel's "The Last Witch Hunter," crowded into theaters this weekend and were swiftly pulverized and left for dead. Another, "Steve Jobs," expanded after a brisk limited run in a few key cities, only to be given the cold shoulder by the general public.
Their failures allowed a trio of holdovers -- "The Martian," "Goosebumps," and "Bridge of Spies" -- to retain the top three spots on the box office chart.
The quality of many of these films was so atrocious that it didn't matter where you opened them," said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. "They were never going to do well."
hen the dust settled it was Ridley Scott's "The Martian" in first place, adding $15.9 million to the Fox release's impressive $166.4 million domestic haul. Sony's "Goosebumps" showed some endurance in its second weekend, slipping a mere 35% to end the period with $15.5 million. The family film's total stands at $43.7 million. And "Bridge of Spies," the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks Cold War drama, got a lift as older crowds caught up with the awards-contender. It earned $11.4 million, a mere 26% drop from its opening weekend, bringing its stateside gross to $32.6 million.
But the results for the rest of the bunch were bleak. The glut of new releases was partially attributable to the timing of Halloween. The holiday falls on a Saturday, the busiest day for moviegoing, so studios were hoping to steer clear of what is shaping up to be a dead period by pushing lots of new content into this weekend. The plan backfired spectacularly.
Lionsgate's "The Last Witch Hunter" cost $70 million to make and only brought in $10.8 million across 3,082 theaters for a fourth place finish. This paltry result came despite Diesel's recent success with "Furious 7" and his robust social media presence. Any ambitions of launching a new franchise have been extinguished.
The top five was rounded out by "Hotel Transylvania 2," which made $9 million to push its domestic results to $148.3 million after five weeks. Continued...