Oscar box office report: ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Brooklyn’ stay strong, ‘The Martian’ flying high

Our leading contender for Best PictureSpotlight” made $1.4 million in its sophomore outing. It had expanded from three markets and five screens to 17 markets and 60 screens and took in an impressive $23.3K per screen this weekend. Open Road plans on upping to about 500 screens this coming weekend as rave reviews boost interest in this docudrama that details the work by the Boston Globe to expose the coverup by the local Catholic diocese of pedophile priests.

Brooklyn” raked in $485K at 23 theaters in seven cities (PSA: $21,000) in its second week. Fox Searchlight is taking it slowly with this title, have added just five cities — Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and Washington D.C. — to original runs in Gotham and Los Angeles. This period charmer stars Saoirse Ronan, a strong Best Actress contender, as an Irish emigrant to America in the early 1950s. 

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The second weekend tally for “Trumbo” was $142K across 20 screens for a per screen average of $7,100. Bleecker Street is planning a slow platform release for this film starring Emmy and Tony champ Bryan Cranston as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

Among other holdovers, the Focus Features release “Suffragette” went even wider — jumping from 222 to 496 locations — in its fourth week and made  cool one million with an average of $2,000 per screen. This historical drama about the fight for the vote by British women has made $2.54 million stateside. 

Room” grossed $578K in 133 locations (up from 87) for a PSA of $4.3K in week five. This A24 release has racked up just under $2.3 million to date.  And, in more good news, Emma Donoghue‘s 2010 novel, which she adapted for the screen, is back on the bestseller list.

Among those titles in general release, Sony continues to score with “Spectre,” which made an impressive $35.4 million in week two. And Fox did well again with animated feature “The Peanuts Movie,” which added another $24.2 million in its second week with a cumulative gross of $82.5 million (remember, many of those admissions were at reduced kiddie prices). And the studio saw  “The Martian” land in fourth by adding an impressive $6.7 million in its seventh frame for a total tally of $207 million and counting. 

Oscar mystery: Is ‘The Martian’ the next ‘Gravity’?

Steven Spielberg‘s “Bridge of Spies” did well in its fifth week, adding another $4.3 million (a drop of just 26% from last week) to its haul which now totals $61.7 million. With a slew of rave reviews and a CinemaScore of A, Disney should continue to do well with this prestige period piece which stars two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks as a reluctant recruit in Cold War diplomacy. 

Steve Jobs” made $394K at 326 locations and its total after six weeks is $17.3 million. Universal had done well with Danny Boyle‘s biopic of Apple’s patron saint in its first two weeks of limited release, as it debuted to a whopping $130K at each of four theaters and then made $1.5 million on those 60 screens. Going forward, the combo of great reviews and word of mouth (a CinemaScore of A-) stll means it has very strong potential to do well with awards (see below). 

Oscar spy: ‘Bridge of Spies’ will be an academy favorite

As of this writing, 21 of our 22 Oscar experts (journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post) are predicting that “Spotlight” and “The Martian” will reap Best Picture bids. Twenty are doing the same for “Bridge of Spies,” Room and “Steve Jobs,” while 15 think the same for “Brooklyn.”  

Among the performers in these pictures, “Steve Jobs” player Michael Fassbender and “Room” breakout star Brie Larson sit atop the Best Actor and Best Actress charts respectively. However, Fassbender faces strong challenges from Leonardo DiCaprio in the still-unseen “The Revenant” and Matt Damon, who plays an astronaut stranded on Mars determined to find a way home (think “Gravity” meets “Castaway”) in “The Martian.”

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Photos (l-r): “Spotlight,” “Brooklyn,” “The Martian.” Credits: Moviestore/REX

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