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'The Martian' may lose top spot in crowded weekend at box office

'The Martian' may lose top spot in crowded weekend at box office
A scene from the upcoming "Goosebumps" movie. (Columbia Pictures)

"Goosebumps" may outspook "The Martian" at the box office this weekend.

Ridley Scott's "The Martian" will likely add $24 million to $26 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, according to people familiar with pre-release audience surveys. That could earn it the No. 1 spot for the third weekend in a row.

However, some tracking estimates suggest "Goosebumps" could debut with up to $25 million, making it a potential No. 1 contender. More modest projections of the fright flick suggest it could make between $12 million and $15 million.

Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," which cost $108 million to make, has collected $113.6 million in the U.S. and Canada and  $118.5 million overseas, making its worldwide total $232.15 million to date. 

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The film, released by 20th Centry Fox, follows astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who, assumed to be dead, is stranded alone on the hostile planet. Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Donald Glover also star.

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The space film scored strong grades from moviegoers, who gave it an A average, according to audience polling firm CinemaScore; 93% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a positive review.

Still, "Goosebumps," which stars Jack Black, could benefit from an increased interest in family films in the marketplace. The film, which cost $58 million to make, is based on R.L. Stine's popular anthology series from the 1990s.

Though Warner Bros.' Peter Pan prequel “Pan” flopped with just $15.5 million, moviegoers -- mostly families -- flocked to see Sony's animated sequel "Hotel Transylvania 2," which has made $120.7 million domestically since its release Sept. 25.

Older audiences will likely opt to see the Steven Speilberg directed "Bridge of Spies," which is expected to launch with between $15 million and $20 million in box-office receipts.

The dramatic thriller was co-financed by DreamWorks and Fox in association with Participant Media and will be distributed in the U.S. by Disney's Touchstone Pictures label

Reviews have been fairly strong, with critics giving it an 89% positive rating score on Rotten Tomatoes. Another crowded weekend will give the industry yet another boost.

Legendary's "Crimson Peak" will also be released by Universal Pictures this weekend. It could make about $16 million to $18 million in its North American launch.

The R-rated film, from director Guillermo del Toro, is a gothic romance starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.

Also in theaters, the faith-based indie film "Woodlawn" will likely make between $4 million and $5 million on 1,500 screens.

The film, from brothers Jon and Andrew Erwin (“Moms’ Night Out”), is based on the true story of a Woodlawn High School Football team, in Birmingham, Ala., in 1973. It stars Sean Astin, Nic Bishop, Caleb Castille, Sherri Shepherd and Jon Voight.

Pure Flix, the film's distributor, has aggressively positioned it for wide release because of "the significant reception and opportunity to reach audiences with it's message of unity through faith," a spokesman said. The studio's budget and opening weekend expectations were not disclosed.

With many new offerings, the box office will likely continue to stay strong. Year-to-date, the box office is up 6.5%, according to film research firm Rentrak.

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h.

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