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Sunday 18 February 2018

Pan fails to fly at the US box office

Rooney Mara at the world premiere of Pan at London's Odeon Leicester Square
Rooney Mara at the world premiere of Pan at London's Odeon Leicester Square

Pan has produced no Neverland magic at US cinemas, making it one of the worst flops of the year.

The fantasy, which cost an estimated 150 million dollars (£98m) to produce, earned just 15.5 million (£10m) in its opening weekend, according to Rentrak estimates.

Early tracking did not look promising for the Joe Wright-directed film, but still predicted that Pan would open at least in the 20 million-dollar (£13m) range.

The PG-rated epic, sold as a Peter Pan origin story and a lavish visual feast, has had a bumpy ride from the beginning, starting when actress Rooney Mara, who is white, was cast as Tiger Lily, who is historically Native American.

The film, starring Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund, had also been pushed from July to October. It has not been well-received by critics either.

Pan now ranks among 2015's biggest flops, including Fantastic Four and Tomorrowland. International earnings do not look promising either. The film brought in a weak 20.5 million dollars - by comparison, The Martian earned 58.1 million dollars.

"This had a lot going against it," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Rentrak.

He also believes competition in the family market from the Halloween-themed animated feature Hotel Transylvania 2 hurt Pan.

"Family films always have an audience, but that audience is extremely fickle and hard to please, just like the kids who go to these movies," Mr Dergarabedian said. "You just never know what's going to resonate."

Sony's high-wire spectacle The Walk also stumbled in its first weekend in wide release, after debuting on IMAX screens last week. The tale of Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Centre earned 3.7 million dollars this weekend, bringing its total to 6.4 million. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in film directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Not all was bleak at the box office, though. Ridley Scott's space adventure The Martian earned a solid 37 million dollars in its second week in cinemas, nabbing the top spot once more. Its domestic total now stands at 108.7 million dollars.

Hotel Transylvania 2 took second place in its third weekend with 20.3 million dollars, bumping its total to 116.8 million. Pan came in at number three.

Nancy Meyers' workplace comedy The Intern earned 8.7 million dollars and the border thriller Sicario brought in 7.4 million, rounding out the top five.

Outside the top 10, Steve Jobs, the biopic of the late Apple CEO directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, opened in four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles to a powerful 520,942 dollars. Its 130,000 dollars per-cinema average ranks as the best of the year and should bode well for the film's expansion across the next two weeks.

"This is a movie everyone's talking about, and now they're going to be talking about it even more," Mr Dergarabedian said.

Press Association

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