Matt Damon’s ‘The Martian’ dominates, ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ holds

The movie is the second best premier launching for Matt next to “The Bourne Ultimatum” with $69.3 million and also the second best in Ridley’s directing career next to the debut of “Hannibal” which earned $58 million.


It is also a movie not merely about space or space travel but quite specifically about NASA, which about now needs the jump start “the Martian” might provide.

In addition to his smarts, Watney has an incredible sense of wit and dark humor, and thanks to an excellent script from writer Drew Goddard (“Daredevil“, “The Cabin in the Woods”), audiences get to stay emotionally connected to the marooned astronaut as he tries to make light of his situation. The estimated North American launch of “The Martian” surpassed that of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” ($47.5 million) and almost equaled the introduction of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” ($55.8 million).

Of course, with any book-to-film adaptation there are bound to be a few major changes made during the translation process, and The Martian is no different.

Either way, with a $25 million worldwide total, “Sicario” is well on its way to being a theatrical success… with or without the city it supposedly takes place in.

Still, even when we can enjoy a story for what it is (a story), it’s still rather fun to sort through the fact and fiction… especially with ambitious films like “The Martian“. Fifty six percent of ticket-buyers were men while 72% of the opening weekend crowd was over the age of 25.

The movie has a tremendous potential to retain in the memory of audience. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” was fifth with $7.6 million.

Made for US$108 million, The Martian received a publicity boost earlier in the week when NASA announced that it had found evidence of water on the surface of Mars – a cosmically fortuitous tie-in for a movie that celebrates NASA ingenuity. The studio is trying to build buzz for the picture ahead of its wide release on October 9, adhering to a strategy that Universal recently deployed with “Everest“, albeit with more modest results. Never once during the film does the audience question its authenticity. They were pleased that receipts climbed 80% between Friday and Saturday, which they believe signals word-of-mouth is strong. The movie is long, but one can argue necessarily so.

“This is first and foremost a phenomenal movie from a master filmmaker and was executed flawlessly”, said Aronson, who believes the question of whether “The Martian” will be able to exceed projections and top “Gravity” for the October record could hinge on to what degree moviegoers seek out 3D and Premium Large Format performances.

Coming in second was last weekend’s champion, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2. “Goodbye Mr. Loser” has earned $37 million in less than a week of release, while “Hotel Transylvania 2” has picked up more than $150 million globally.


The gay-rights drama “Freeheld“, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, opened in limited release with a $40,000-per-screen average in New York and Los Angeles.

This elegant design uses ice to encapsulate a Martian habitat. Courtesy of NASA