It was already evident that, The Martian by Ridley Scott was one of the most anticipated movies of the year. In fact, the latest figures related to the US and overseas box office confirm everything. Even if the month of October isn’t very profitable for Hollywood, this movie obtained unexpectedly positive results.
The Martian has a production budget of $108 million without including the marketing cost for domestic and overseas territories1. In order to be considered a profitable success, it needs to earn at least two and half times its production costs. The first estimates by 20th Century Fox weren’t very high and lower than similar films such as Gravity and Interstellar. The early predictions were talking about a box office opening of $35/40 million at the domestic box office (United States and Canada)2.
In the last days, these figures registered a certain increase due to very good reviews and the very great hype for the film. In fact, the predictions for its debut increased to a $40/50 million domestic box office opening3. Luckily, this target was successfully passed against all ods. In fact, according to The Guardian “The Ridley Scott space thriller The Martian scored a stellar $55m to top the US box office on its debut this weekend”4. However, during this weekend there weren’t new relevant movies destined to debut.
These outcomes have created big happiness and enthusiasm between the producers, the actors and all the crew behind the film. Particularly, it was a great satisfaction for the director Ridley Scott. Even if he is a well known and established filmmaker, his latest movies obtained disappointing results. For example, his previous movie called Exodus reached a mediocre domestic gross of $65 million against its $140 million budget. It grossed a total sum of $268 million considering the overseas territories, but it’s still a disappointing result for a so expensive production5.
At the moment, the box office opening of The Martian is the highest one obtained in the month of October. The previous record belonged to Gravity, another sci-fiction movie set in space and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. This achievement is also a good news for the main star Matt Damon. In fact, according to Brad Brevet for this actor “This was his second largest opening ever behind The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.2m) and ahead of The Bourne Supremacy ($52.5m)”6.
The film also obtained excellent earnings at the overseas box office. In fact, it debuted in many foreign nations such as Australia, Italy, Portugal and India. According to boxofficemojo.com “The Martian also opened in 49 international markets where it brought in an estimated $45.2 million, bringing its worldwide opening to $100.2 million with openings in top markets such as Germany, Russia, South Korea, Spain, France, Japan and China yet to come, some not until as late as February 2016”7.
The critical consensus on this film was absolutely positive and above all expectations. It mainly received positive reviews from highly acclaimed critics. For example, Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times said about it “Damon is terrific; The movie lives and breathes on his performance, and he comes through in every scene”8. Another famous critic, Peter Debruge from Variety Magazine, declared about this masterpiece “The Martian should do far more than just make Fox a ton of money; it could conceivably rekindle interest in the space program and inspire a new generation of future astronauts”9.
1 Cfr. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=scott2016.htm
2 Cfr. http://fantasymovieleague.com/posts/386/hollywood-by-the-numbers-all-about-mars
3 Cfr. Ibidem.
5 Cfr. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=exodus.htm