A quartet of new films hit the box office this weekend, and one of them, Sony’s Goosebumps, took the box office crown, though none of them quite lived up to expectations.  The kid-friendly horror movie Goosebumps fared the best, earning an estimated $23.5 million and dethroning two-time champ The Martian, which slipped to second with $21.5 million.  But Steven Spielberg’s adult-skewing Bridge of Spies opened below expectations and Guillermo del Toro’s “R” rated “adult” horror film Crimson Peak appears to be in trouble.  Overall the box office was down 10% from the same weekend a year ago when the World War II tank movie Fury opened with $23.7 million.

Overseas Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man opened in China and earned $43.2 million, the second largest Marvel 3-day opening in China so far, trailing only Age of UltronAnt-Man has now passed the first Thor movie to become the ninth highest-grossing film worldwide in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While Goosebumps, which is based on a popular series of children’s books, is clearly not a breakout hit, it did manage a solid opening, and it received an “A” CinemaScore from opening weekend audiences, which, along with excellent reviews (71% positive according to Rotten Tomatoes), should make for a solid run over the next few weeks with little in the way of competition for its target young audience until The Peanuts Movie shows up on November 6.  Goosebumps’ biggest competition this weekend was another Sony film, the animated Hotel Transylvania 2, which earned $12.2 million in its fourth weekend.  With these two family-oriented films Sony appears set to dominate that market segment over the next few weeks.

Ridley Scott’s The Martian continues to perform well, dipping just 41.9% in its third weekend as it earned $21.5 million to bring its domestic total to $143.8 million.  The Martian is already Scott’s third highest-grossing film, trailing just Hannibal ($165 million) and Gladiator ($187.7 million), both of which it should surpass before its domestic run is done.

Third place went to Steven Spielberg’s Cold War saga Bridge of Spies, which stars Tom Hanks.  While Bridge of Spies opened a bit below expectations, it has received excellent notices (92% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), and opening audiences gave it an “A” CinemaScore as well.  Bridge of Spies also clearly appeals to older viewers, 90% of the audience was over 25, and 43% was over 50—and since older patrons take their time in going out to the movies, Bridge of Spies should be fine, though it will face increasing competition for its older audiences as films like Steve Jobs and the Oscar hopeful Room go wide in the next few weeks.

Weekend Box Office (Studio Estimates): October 16-18, 2015


Weekend Gross



Total Gross










The Martian







Bridge of Spies







Crimson Peak







Hotel Transylvania 2














The Intern





















Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials







The prognosis is not as positive for Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasilkowska.  This Gothic horror/romance film is a real throwback, a spooky old school film that doesn’t rely on cheap shocks, and it is a pity that it did not do better.  In spite of a 68% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Crimson Peak received only a “B” CinemaScore, and suffered a sharp drop from Friday to Saturday night, which is never a good sign.  With The Last Witch Hunter and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension both opening next week, Crimson Peak, which cost $55 million to produce, could be in real trouble here in the domestic market.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania continues its strong hold.  So far the animated feature has earned $136.4 million, and the future looks rosy for the next few weeks as well.

That is definitely not the case for Warner Bros. Peter Pan prequel Pan, which slipped 61.7% in its second frame as it earned just $5.9 million to bring its domestic total to $25.7 million.  The $150 million production could easily fall out of the top ten next weekend.

Nancy Meyer’s adult-skewing comedy The Intern continued its solid run, and the Lionsgate drug thriller Sicario also managed a good hold in its fifth weekend.

The Christian-themed sports drama Woodlawn got off to a pretty good start earning $4.1 million—and its “A+” CinemaScore could mean that this film will hang around for quite some time.

Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic expanded to 60 theaters and moved up to #11.  Next week the film goes wide will compete directly with Bridge of Spies.  Younger serious moviegoers will likely prefer the Jobs film (51% of this weekend’s audience for the biopic was under 35, while 43% of the Bridge of Spies crowd was over 50), but we will have to see how it works out next weekend.

Be sure to check back here next week when another quartet of new films opens including the comic/cartoon based Jem and the Holograms, the Vin Diesel-starring fantasy The Last Witch Hunter, Rock the Kasbah, which stars Bill Murray, and the horror film Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.