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'Pan,' 'The Walk' face slow weekend at box office

'Pan,' 'The Walk' face slow weekend at box office
Levi Miller appears in a scene from "Pan," which opens in theaters this weekend. (Laurie Sparham / Warner Bros. / TNS)

Warner Bros.' "Pan" is not expected to soar at the box office this weekend.

The film, which cost $150 million to make in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, is looking at an opening in the $20-million range, according to people familiar with pre-release audience surveys. That means director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," which stars Matt Damon, will likely top the box office for a second weekend.

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Such a small opening for "Pan" would mark yet another film in Warner Bros.' 2015 slate that has fallen short of tracking expectations. The studio has had several big hits, including "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "San Andreas," but is currently in third place, trailing behind Universal Pictures and Disney.

Warner Bros., which has released 28 films to date this year, holds 16.17% of the 2015 market share, according to Rentrak. By comparison, last year the studio finished in third place with $1.15 billion, but with fewer films (22) and 15% of the market share.

"It's a cyclical business and this hasn't been the best year for Warner Bros.," said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. "They've had some solid movies, but if you look at their 2016 slate, it's much stronger."

"Pan," directed by Joe Wright, is a live action origin story about J.M. Barrie's beloved character Peter Pan (played by newcomer Levi Miller). Hugh Jackman plays Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund plays James Hook and Rooney Mara plays Tiger Lily.

Still, overseas the film may attract more moviegoers. It will roll out in 60% of international markets this weekend, including Germany, Spain, Russia, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. It will open in China on Oct. 22.

Meanwhile, "The Walk," which launched in limited IMAX theaters last week, is also expected to have a slow weekend as it expands to wide release.

The Sony TriStar film, which cost $35 million to make, follows French high-wire artist Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he walks between the World Trade Center towers.

While the intent of this limited IMAX rollout was meant to build buzz, "The Walk" failed to meet initial tracking expectations. To date, the film has made about $2.4 million in the United States and Canada.

Some tracking estimates suggest "The Walk" could add up to $15 million in its second weekend, but others forecast a number closer to $5 million.

"The film is modestly budgeted, but for an IMAX movie, that's pretty week," Contrino said.

In limited release, Universal Pictures will roll out "Steve Jobs" in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles before expanding to additional North American markets on Oct. 16 and in wide release on Oct. 23.

The film, which follows the Apple pioneer (played by Michael Fassbender), will likely be another hit for Universal.

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

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