LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pan walked the plank over the Columbus Day Weekend.
Warner Bros spent US$150 million (S$209 million ) to bring the Neverland adventure to screens and millions more in marketing, but the big-budget fantasy mustered a puny US$15.5-million opening.
That debut puts Pan, starring Hugh Jackman, alongside The Fantastic Four and Tomorrowland in the pantheon of the year's most punishing flops.
"It's a huge misfire," said Jeff Bock, box-office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, adding, "We won't see another Peter Pan film for awhile."
Pan's backers were not the only ones having a rough weekend.
Sony's The Walk stumbled in its wide release, expanding from 448 Imax and premium large format theatres to more than 2,500 locations, and eking out US$3.6 million in the process.
The biopic about Philippe Petit's daring high-wire walk between the Twin Towers cost US$35 million to produce and has clear Oscar ambitions for director Robert Zemeckis and the technical team behind the film. It has made a paltry US$6.4 million in its initial two weeks.
The Sony team seems discouraged that positive reviews for the picture's innovative use of 3D and strong word-of-mouth have not lifted The Walk higher. "It's a conundrum why more folks didn't come out, because once you see it, it's one of those films that you never forget," said Rory Bruer, Sony's distribution chief. "It's a picture that everybody put their heart and soul into."
With the new major studio releases teetering, Fox's The Martian, at No. 1, stabilised overall ticket sales. The space thriller slipped a modest 32 per cent in its second weekend, nabbing US$37 million and pushing its domestic total to US$108.7 million.
Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 racked up US$20.3 million in its third weekend to come in at No. 2. Pan finished in third place.
In limited release, Universal's Steve Jobs scored, pulling in US$521,000 across four theatres for a per-screen average of US$130,236.
That ranks as the best theatre average of the year, and nicely positions the film about the Apple co-founder for its wide release launch on Oct 23.