The weekend before Halloween brings a slew of ghosts and witches to the box office, with five new films debuting in wide release.
After a record-setting limited opening, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs is the current favorite to come out on top when it goes wide this weekend, taking on The Last Witch Hunter, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Rock the Kasbah, and Jem and the Holograms. Jobs and The Last Witch Hunter will jockey for first against last week’s winner, the family-friendly Goosebumps, with all three eyeing a weekend in the mid-teens.
Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might shape up:
1. Steve Jobs — $17 million
The Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs made more than $520,000 when it opened in four theaters two weeks ago, earning the best per-theater average of the year with about $130,000. After two weeks, its domestic total is now at $2.5 million. Now, Jobs, which stars Michael Fassbender as the Apple co-founder, is going wide and expanding to about 2,500 theaters. It’s expected to debut in the mid to high teens.
2. The Last Witch Hunter — $16 million
Breck Eisner’s action fantasy flick finds Vin Diesel as a centuries-old hero battling the forces of evil and, well, hunting witches. Reviews haven’t been great, and so far, it’s earned a 15 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but The Last Witch Hunter could benefit from its pre-Halloween opening, and it’s the only film debuting in more than 3,000 theaters this weekend.
3. Goosebumps — $15.4 million
Rob Letterman’s adaptation of R.L. Stine’s spooky book series dethroned The Martian last weekend, opening to $23.6 million and securing first place. Goosebumps, which stars Jack Black, is expected to fall about 35 percent, similarly to Hotel Transylvania 2, Sony’s last family-friendly, Halloween-themed flick.
4. The Martian — $12.8 million
After two weeks at No. 1, The Martian took second place in its third weekend, earning $21.3 million for a domestic total of $147.3 million. The Ridley Scott-directed, Matt Damon-starring sci-fi film is expected to fall about 40 percent to $12.8 million.
5. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension — $11 million
The latest flick in the Paranormal Activity horror franchise is the first film to debut as part of Paramount’s new flexible release plan. Paramount is shortening the amount of time between the film’s theater release date and its home entertainment release, and theater chains that opt in get a cut of the film’s digital profits. Several major theater chains elected not to participate, so The Ghost Dimension is opening in just over 1,500 locations, as opposed to the last film in the franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which played at 2,867 locations and debuted to $18.3 million. The Ghost Dimension is eyeing a debut between $10 and $12 million.
Two other new films are opening in wide release this weekend, with both expected to debut between $5 million and $7 million. Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah, which stars Bill Murray as a washed-up music promoter who discovers a young singer in Afghanistan, has been critically panned, earning a 6 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jon M. Chu’s Jem and the Holograms, based on the ‘80s Hasbro animated series, earned 13 percent, and like Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, it’s a micro-budget production from Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.