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Goosebumps tops US box office ahead of Crimson Peak


Story by Jack Foley

FAMILY movie Goosebumps has surprisingly topped the US box office ahead of both holdover title The Martian and new release Crimson Peak.

Based on the popular children’s book series of the same name and starring Jack Black, Goosebumps took $23.5 million to over-perform and land the top spot.

The film sees Black playing a 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 is directed by Rob Letterman and stole a march on potential Halloween audiences.

Commenting on the film’s performance, Josh Greenstein, Sony world-wide president of marketing and distribution, said: “To be No. 1 in such a competitive marketplace is an incredible result. This is the beginning of a franchise.”

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster The Martian, starring Matt Damon, remained strong during its third weekend, grossing $21.5 million in the US and push the movie’s US total to $143.8 million.

Steven Spielberg’s latest, the spy drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, took third spot with $15.4 million. It represents a decent return for a film that cost $40 million to make and which marks one of the director’s more serious pieces of work. The film may also be buoyed by awards buzz in the coming weeks.

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. This, in turn, led to him helping to negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960. The film has received almost universal acclaim from critics.

The only real disappointment from the weekend was another new release, Guillermo del Toro’s R-rated horror flick Crimson Peak, which took $12.9 million to place fourth, despite getting off to a promising start on Friday when estimates made a $20 million opening seem more realistic.

The figures mark del Toro’s lowest opening for a major studio film.

Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska as a young author and newly-wed who 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.

Elsewhere at the US box office, specialty titles such as Room, a critical and audience darling at Toronto, performed well, as did Steve Jobs. But Robert Redford-Cate Blanchett drama Truth fared less well, as did Netflix drama Beasts of No Nation, which finds Idris Elba playing a war-lord who recruits child soldiers.

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