After the divisive Prometheus and the poorly received The Counsellor and Exodus: Gods and Kings, Sir Ridley Scott has found himself back on top with The Martian. The movie has so far received widespread critical acclaim and exceeded expectations with over $120 million at the worldwide box office to date.
That number looks set to rocket this weekend, however, and Pan is going to be a casualty of The Martian‘s surprise success. Early estimates place it as having a strong second weekend haul of between $32 million – $34 million following around $10 million today. With a incredible cast led by Matt Damon, the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars has really resonated with moviegoers, and is generating some early Oscar buzz.
Joe Wright’s Pan (an origin story for Peter Pan), meanwhile, has not fared quite so well with critics, despite also having a strong cast which includes names like Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara. It’s only expected to earn $7 million today, putting it on track for a weekend total of between $18 million – $22 million.
With a hefty $150 million budget, many believe that Pan is set to be the Fall’s first big flop. Why, though? Well, as one rival studio executive tells Deadline, “Audiences aren’t really in tune to budgets unless it’s a big VFX extravaganza. It’s just that moviegoers aren’t screaming out for another Peter Pan movie.” Ouch!
Either way, The Martian‘s success if well-deserved, and the film is a real return to form for Scott as he prepares for Alien: Paradise Lost.