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The Martian returns to top of US box office as Last Witch Hunter flops

The Martian

Story by Jack Foley

RIDLEY Scott’s space epic The Martian has returned to the top of the US box office in a topsy-turvy weekend for new releases.

A total of four new releases, including Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter and umpteenth horror entry Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, flopped, while Danny Boyle’s Oscar-tipped Steve Jobs struggled to find as wide an audience as anticipated upon its wider release.

The Martian, featuring Matt Damon as an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars, reclaimed the US box office crown in its fourth weekend, narrowly beating last week’s champion, the family movie Goosebumps, with $15.9 million for a US total of $166.4 million.

Goosebumps grossed $15.5 million in its second weekend for a US total of $43.7 million.

And Steven Spielberg’s political drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, performed well in its sophomore weekend with $11.4 million for a 10-day total of $32.6 million. The spy film, which also features Mark Rylance and which is considered another Oscar contender, took third spot.

Of the disappointments, Steve Jobs featured among them because it had been expected to vy for some of Bridge of Spies audience. Instead, it had to settle for seventh spot with $7.3 million.

Aaron Sorkin wrote the adapted script for Boyle’s film, which features Michael Fassbender as the late Apple man, with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels co-starring.

The Last Witch Hunter came in fourth with $10.8 million, a poor start considering its production budget of $75 million to $80 million. The Vin Diesel star vehicle finds the Fast & Furious star playing an immortal witch hunter who attempts to stop a plague from destroying New York City.

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension missed out on the top five, landing in sixth spot, with just $8.2 million – a franchise low. But the film could have suffered from the refusal of some cinema chains to show the film owing to its rapid release in other formats.

The US top five was therefore rounded out by animated title Hotel Transylvania 2, which took $12.6 million.

Two more disappointments for the weekend were Jem and the Holograms and Barry Levinson’s Rock The Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, which didn’t even crack the top 10.

Rock The Kasbah, which features Murray as a rock manager past his prime who accompanies a performer (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour in war-ridden Afghanistan, took in a paltry $1.5 million – the worst start for a film starring the actor.

While John M. Chu’s Jem and the Holograms, based on the popular ’80s cartoon about teenage girls longing to become famous performers, fared even worse, scoring just $1.3 million to land the worst opening of all time for a major studio release going out in 2,000 or more cinemas.

Next story: Daniel Craig remains tight lipped on Bond future in BBC interview