LOS ANGELES – Scare-seeking audiences preferred the family-friendly “Goosebumps” over the gothic horror of Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house flick “Crimson Peak” two weekends out from Halloween.
Sony’s “Goosebumps,” based on the popular book series, earned $23.5 million out of the gates to take the first-place spot, while del Toro’s “Crimson Peak” languished at fourth with $12.8 million.
“Goosebumps” also managed to beat “The Martian” by a hair, pushing the space adventure to the second-place spot for the first time in its three-week run with $21.5 million.
Starring Jack Black as author R.L. Stine, “Goosebumps” cost a reported $58 million to produce. Audiences, 59 percent of whom were under the age of 25, gave the film a promising “A” CinemaScore, and reviews have been mostly favorable for the PG-rated pic.
The Halloween-timing didn’t help “Crimson Peak” The Legendary film, distributed by Universal, failed to attract a significant audience in its debut. Those who did turn out gave the film a lousy B- CinemaScore.
It’s one of del Toro’s lowest wide openings; 1997’s “Mimic” earned only $7.8 million in its first weekend in theaters.
One of the issues is that the movie, starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, is rated R and has a more limited audience. Also, despite promises of a haunted house, the film is more gothic romance than classic horror.
Steven Spielberg’s well-received cold-war thriller “Bridge of Spies,” debuted in third-place with $15.4 million from 2,811 theaters.
Audiences for the $40 million film starring Tom Hanks were overwhelmingly adult. An estimated 88 percent were over the age of 25.