Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Box Office: Jem, Kasbah and Witch Hunter (Everything Flops)

It was a terrible week at the US box office, as not a single one of the four new releases were able to make an impact on audiences. This lack of competition allowed Ridley Scott and Matt Damon's science fiction drama The Martian to regain the number one spot, after it was dethroned last week by Jack Black's Goosebumps (which this week slips to number two). The closest any newcomer came to threatening the top three was Vin Diesel's The Last Witch Hunter, that being said it was still some way away. Coming in at number four, the critically panned fantasy action film managed to make just $10.8 million over the weekend, a figure less impressive than even the harshest of estimates. It seems that Diesel simply isn't a box office draw outside of the Fast and Furious franchise, although perhaps further involvement in Marvel Studios projects (he is rumored to have a role in the upcoming Inhumans movie, along with his CGI role in Guardians of the Galaxy) could work to boost his profile among audiences.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension also under-performed bringing in far less than the previous installment, however that is due to the experimental method of distribution Paramount has used to bring this film to the screen. Indeed, the film studio has made an agreement with movie theaters that when the film is playing in less than 300 locations it will be made available on VOD services. A portion of the profits of any VOD sales made within ninety days of the film's theatrical release will be shared with participating venues, however this plan is already showing some growing pains as Paramount likely didn't expect the film to open in so few theaters to begin with. Potentially, this means a wider space of time where Paramount's VOD profits will be eaten into by theaters wanting their share, something which could hurt Paranormal Activity's overall takings. Although it should be remembered that the film has a miniscule budget and so should be able to turn a profit nonetheless, it may just mean that this franchise goes out with a whimper rather than a bang as The Ghost Dimension is allegedly the final entry in the series.

Was this the trailer that killed Jem and the Holograms?

If it was a bad week for Vin Diesel and the Paranormal Activity franchise, the it was a truly awful week for Bill Murray and Jem and the Holograms fans. Rock the Kasbah and Jem and the Holograms had similarly terrible debuts bringing in $1.4 million and $1.3 million respectively. This makes them two of the worst openings of all time for a studio picture opening in more than 2,000 theaters. What was the cause of this embarrassment? Well, Jem and the Holograms was surrounded by bad press from the start with the first trailer being utterly ripped apart by fans of the of the original Holograms series. A large number of negative reviews would have done nothing to change people's minds, meaning this debut is perhaps not surprising. Presumably it was negative reviews that also took down Bill Murray's Rock the Kasbah as the actor's previous starring role seemed to suggest he still had some box office prowess (2014's St. Vincent which performed relatively well). Perhaps the only comfort here is that neither film had a particularly large budget and so even with these paltry debuts, likely won't put too much financial strain on their respective studios.

Here's this week's top ten in full:

1. (2) The Martian - $15.7 million
2. (1) Goosebumps - $15.5 million
3. (3) Bridge of Spies - $11.3 million
4. (-) The Last Witch Hunter - $10.8 million
5. (5) Hotel Transylvania 2 - $8.8 million
6. (-) Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension - $8 million
7. (11) Steve Jobs - $7.1 million
8. (4) Crimson Peak - $5.6 million
9. (7) The Intern - $3.7 million
10. (8) Sicario - $2.8 million


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