Box office: 'Goosebumps' out-spooks 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Crimson Peak' with $23.5M
Pointing to the buying power of families, Sony's Goosebumps edged past The Martian to win the crowded box office race in North America, easily out-spooking Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama Bridge of Spies and Guillermo del Toro's troubled gothic romance Crimson Peak.
Goosebumps, based on the beloved children's book series and starring Jack Black, took in $23.5 million from 3,501 theaters to come in on the higher end of expectations.
Ridley Scott's blockbuster The Martian remained a potent player in its third weekend, grossing $21.5 million from 3,701 locations to come in No. 2 and pushing the movie's domestic total to $143.8 million for Fox.
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Getting a jump on Halloween, Goosebumps stars Black as the famous writer whose literary characters -- a collection of ghouls and ghosts -- escape from his books and wreak havoc on the world. The 3D horror-comedy, directed by Rob Letterman and adapted by Scott Alexander, also stars Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush.
The only direct competition Goosebumps faced was from fellow Sony family title Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in a hearty $12 million-plus in its fourth weekend, and Warner Bros.' Pan, although Pan continued to prove a flop in its second outing, tumbling 62 percent to $5.6 million for a domestic cume of $25.7 million.
Going after older adults, Bridge of Spies opened to $15.5 million-$16 million from 2,811 theaters to place No. 3. The DreamWorks and Participant Media title, distributed by Disney and costing $40 million to make, hopes for a long run throughout awards season after scoring stellar reviews and an A CinemaScore.
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Bridge of Spies, inspired by true events, follows Brooklyn insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks), who was plucked from his ordinary existence to represent Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. That led to being tasked with helping negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
Of the new nationwide offerings, del Toro's R-rated Crimson Peak was the big disappointment in grossing $12.9 million from 2,984 theaters to place No. 4. Early Friday afternoon, it looked like the Legendary Pictures ad Universal title had a shot at crossing $20 million, but it quickly fell off and marks the filmmaker's lowest opening for a major studio film.
Overseas, Crimson Peak opened to a muted $13.4 million from 55 markets for an early worldwide total of $26.2 million.
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Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska as a young author and newlywed who soon discovers that her charming husband's crumbling mansion is filled with menacing, other-worldly entities that her groom (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister (Jessica Chastain) try to hide. Charlie Hunnam also stars. Crimson Peak was no doubt hurt by mixed reviews and a B- CinemaScore.
The $55 million movie is the latest movie produced by Legendary to have problems. Legendary has had great success as a film financier, but less so when it comes to taking the creative reins.
Christian drama Woodlawn placed No. 9 in its launch, grossing $4.1 million from 1,553 locations for Pure Flix Entertainment.
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As awards season heats up, there was a flurry of activity at the specialty office. In its second weekend, Universal's Steve Jobs expanded into 60 theaters to come in No. 11 with $1.6 million for a solid location average of $25,831. Next weekend, Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic rolls out nationwide.
Lenny Abrahamson's Room opened nicely, earning an estimated $120,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $30,000. Adapted by Emma Donoghue from her book of the same name, the A24 title stars Brie Larson as a young mother trapped in a windowless room with her young son (Jacob Tremblay).
One high-profile title that's off to a poor start is Truth, starring Robert Redford as ousted CBS Evening New anchor Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as disgraced 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes. The Sony Pictures Classics release opened to $76,646 from six locations in New York and Los Angeles for a theater average of $12,024.
Beasts of No Nation, the first original movie from Netlfix, likewise did nominal business in its limited day and date theatrical debut. The African war drama, starring Idris Elba and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, grossed $50,699 from 27 theaters in 30 markets for a location average of $1,635. The movie was always going to be a tough sell since it is simultaneously available around the world on the streaming service.
The theatrical run is, in part, designed to boost the film's Oscar prospects. To that end, Beasts did best at the Landmark theater in Los Angeles, a favorite haunt of awards voters.
Bridge of Spies, Room, Beasts of No Nation and Steve Jobs are all critical darlings, while Truth has earned mix reviews.