Jack Black gave the box office “Goosebumps” Friday, knocking two-time champ “The Martian” out of the top spot and outpacing Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg‘s thriller “Bridge of Spies” and Guillermo del Toro‘s spooky “Crimson Peak.”
Sony’s PG-rated 3D adaptation of R.L. Stine’s adventure anthology captured the family crowd with $7.3 million Friday and is pacing for a $25.5 million weekend. It held off Fox’s Matt Damon-Ridley Scott Mars saga, which took in $6.4 million and will finish its third weekend with nearly $22 million.
The No. 1 debut by the horror comedy “Goosebumps” is a big win for Sony, which has been behind four of the last six films to open on top of the box office. Sony, Village Roadshow Pictures and financier LStar Capital are behind the $58 million “Goosebumps.” There’s a good chance we’ll see more of Black as the intrepid author Stine in future films, as the family-friendly and hugely popular book series is ideally suited to sequels, and Sony could use another franchise.
The PG-13-rated “Bridge of Spies” narrowly got the better of Universal and Legendary Pictures’ R-rated “Crimson Peak” for DreamWorks and distributor Disney on Friday, with both wide openers a little over $5 million. The mature-skewing espionage thriller, an awards hopeful, is expected to pull away and finish the weekend a little over $16 million, with the horror tale starring Jessica Chastain at $13 million. Sony Animation’s indefatigable “Hotel Transylvania 2” won’t be far behind those two and is pacing for a $12.5 million fourth weekend.
“Steve Jobs” impressed with an $8,706 per-screen average Friday, better than any other movie, after Universal expanded the biopic starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple Inc. founder from four to 60 theaters. It took in $516,000 and is looking at $1.7 million in its second weekend ahead of its wide debut next week.
Moviegoers went home happy Friday, if you believe the CinemaScores. “Goosebumps” and “Bridge of Spies” both received an “A” rating from fans, while “Crimson Peak” got a “B-” from the typically hard-grading horror crowd. And “Woodlawn,” a faith-based football tale that rolled out Friday as well, topped them all with a rare “A+.”
On Friday, the faithful lifted “Woodlawn” to $1.4 million from 1,553 theaters — many of them booked by religious groups — putting the PG-rated drama starring Sean Astin (“Rudy”) on course to crack the top ten with $5 million weekend for distributor Pure Flix.
Netflix’s first movie release, the Idris Elba African war drama “Beasts of No Nation,” was 27th after debuting to roughly $170,000 from 31 theaters for Bleecker Street. That’s a soft $552 per-screen average for the film, which has awards aspirations, but was surely watched by more people at home.
Netflix made “Beasts,” written and directed by Cary Fukunaga, available for streaming Friday. That same-day online release angered the largest movie theater chains, who are fiercely protective of their exclusive window, and the four largest refused to screen it.