New releases flopped at the box office this weekend. Teen-geared musical fantasy drama “Jem and the Holograms” led the pack of losers. Based on a 1980s cartoon of the same name, the film hauled in just $1.3 million, making it one of the worst debuts ever for a major studio movie opening in more than 2,000 locations.
"If you’re trying to court the teen audience, you do so at your peril," media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told USA Today. "They are the most fickle audience. You’re trying to figure out the mind of a teenager when you release a movie like 'Jem and the Holograms.' "
Bill Murray’s “Rock The Kasbah” had a similarly rough opening weekend. The comedy about a washed-up rock manager finding a talented young singer in Afghanistan earned just $1.5 million.
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“The Last Witch Hunter” performed best among new flicks, but its $10.8 million in sales still made for a disappointing debut weekend, according to industry observers. Panned by critics, the movie stars Vin Diesel as an immortal witch-hunter trying to stop a plague from ravaging humanity.
Dergarabedian called the weekend “a pretty scary early Halloween for the movie industry,” adding, “This is one of the most fragmented marketplaces I’ve ever seen.”
Entering its fourth weekend, director Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” took first place at the weekend box office with $15.9 in sales. It edged out the Jack Black comedy “Goosebumps” at $15.5 million and Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama “Bridge of Spies,” which raked in $11.4 million.
After promising limited release numbers, biopic "Steve Jobs" tanked with just $7.3 million in weekend sales. Starring Michael Fassbender as the iconic Apple founder and CEO, the Danny Boyle-directed film has received largely positive reviews. Its lackluster box office performance is only slightly better than that of the 2013 Steve Jobs movie “Jobs,” which featured Ashton Kutcher in the lead role.
Final figures are expected Monday.