Box Office: Sandra Bullock’s ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Heading for Dismal Debut of $3.5 Million

Sandra Bullock’s “Our Brand Is Crisis” is living up to its name at the nation’s multiplexes with a disappointing $3.5 million opening weekend at 2,202 U.S. locations, early estimates showed Friday.

Should the estimate hold, “Our Brand Is Crisis” would be the worst opening for a wide-release Bullock title. That distinction had previously been held by romantic comedy “Two If by Sea,” which opened with $4.7 million in 1996.

The political dramedy — which had been forecasted in recent days to finish around $6 million — won’t even crack the top five titles during the Halloween weekend, which will be one of the slowest of the year. The fifth weekend of Fox’s “The Martian” looks like the probable winner at about $10 million, followed by the third weekend of Sony’s “Goosebumps” with $9 million and Disney’s third weekend of “Bridge of Spies” at $7 million.

The opening of Bradley Cooper’s “Burnt” at 3,003 sites appears to be in line with modest expectations with an opening of $6 million to $6.5 million after cooking up $250,000 in Thursday night previews.

Paramount’s “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is heading for $2.5 million at 1,509 sites — well under initital estimates of about $4 million. The horror-comedy scared up a minimal $140,000 at 690 locations on Thursday night, underlining a lack of traction with Halloween festivities looming for its core audience of teens and young adults.

“Scouts Guide” and the studio’s “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” opened in far fewer locations than usual. They are part of an experiment that allows Paramount to debut films digitally 17 days after they leave most theaters in return for giving exhibitors like AMC a cut of the home entertainment revenue.

Warner Bros. did not offer Thursday night showings for “Crisis,” in which Bullock portrays a hard-boiled campaign consultant sent to Bolivia. The movie, based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, failed to generate much affection among critics with a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The price tag for “Crisis” is $28 million, with Warner Bros. and Participant Media co-financing.

The Martian” could notch its fourth box office No. 1 this weekend. Fox’s space adventure has taken in $171.4 million in its first 28 days and it should finish the frame as the ninth best grosser of the year ahead of “Ant-Man” at $179 million.

Goosebumps,” which won its opening weekend, has already gone past $49 million in its first 14 days, while “Bridge of Spies” has hit $37 million.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, told Variety that the back-to-back sluggish weekends at the box office won’t be repeated next weekend when “Spectre” and “The Peanuts Movie” open.

“This is just the calm before the proverbial storm and Hollywood will be glad to end this two weeks of Halloween-induced malaise at a box office, where overcrowding and many distractions have conspired for a very soft period at the multiplex,” he said. “Of course James Bond and Charlie Brown are on their way to save the day next weekend and this slowdown will be just a memory has we head into what promises to be a very strong holiday moviegoing season.”

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