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The Martian opens well - Matt Damon News Column
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The Martian opens well
  • The Martian made an expected $55 million in the US in its first weekend, and approximately $45 million overseas - from Variety, the LA Times and Deadline. The picture is from the New Yorker's review:

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    "The Martian" is Scott’s second biggest opener behind "Hannibal" in 2001, and it's Damon’s second biggest opener behind "The Bourne Ultimatum" in 2007. Depending on final numbers for Sunday ticket sales, due out Monday, "The Martian" might inch past the $55.8 million opening of "Gravity."

    "We were conservative in our estimates so coming in at $55 million was awesome," said Chris Aronson, Fox's head of domestic distribution. "I think it's a movie that has an incredible beating heart and soul to it. It's what movies are all about."

    "The combination of critical support and positive audience reaction is so rare but when you get it, you've got a hit," Aronson said. "I think this film is just going to play and play."

    Exit surveys demonstrate that the outer space genre was one of the major reasons people went out and bought tickets to “The Martian.” When they saw it, they loved it. Word-of-mouth was electric, and the film easily eclipsed projections that had it debuting to $45 million. Seventy percent of people who saw the film said they would definitely recommend it, according to Rentrak’s post-track survey. Typical responses to that survey question run in the 40% range.

    That response was mirrored on social media. More than half of the people who intended to write about the film on Facebook said their reactions would be positive, while roughly three fourths of people who planned to tweet about the film said their response on Twitter would be favorable, according to Rentrak. The good buzz could build. Although the film skewed older, it played better to audiences under 25, who gave it an A plus rating.

    When Matt Damon’s name appeared in the end credits during a SAG Cinema Society screening today, the crowd thundered a solid applause.

  • An interview with Andy Weir is at the Today Show.

  • A new plant related to the potato is being named after Mark Watney and Matt has been given an honorary membership to the Botanical Society of America as "a sign of appreciation for portraying botany and botanists in such a positive (and heroic!) light."

  • Matt is now in London to continue filming Bourne 5. Photos of Matt and Lucy leaving a dinner with George and Amal Clooney and Cindy Crawford in London at the weekend are at the Daily Mail and People.

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  • 40 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 5th, 2015 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian

    I finally saw THE MARTIAN Sunday evening! I found it highly entertaining, visually appealing, and an excellent performance from Matt. As others have pointed out, as long of a movie as it was, I still could have seen more of Matt. I found the last half hour to be very suspenseful, more than I thought it would play out. I found the voiceover scene, of Watney asking Commander Lewis to deliver a message to his parents should he not live, as I'd hoped, very touching. The screening I attended was full house and many times during the film the audiences laughed out loud together (which is rare for a non-comedy), yet I wished there'd been even more funny humor. The draft I read of the script, I think may have had more humor infused in it, and if I'm not mistaken, those who've read the book have praised the amount of humor in the book. Yet I found the movie to have less humor than expected. I definitely appreciated the long shots of the rover traveling across the land, and contemplative shots of Matt in the Hab, sitting outside, and inside the rover to add to his feeling of loneliness, separation from others, and sheer enormity of his undertaking and his being alone on the planet.

    I saw it in 2D and am curious to see it in 3D now. No one has mentioned Matt's physical transformation at the end. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who's not seen it yet, but am curious to hear everyone's thoughts.

    Here are some fun photos for everyone. Shared with me by friends, the last one I took tonight of the billboard at the front gat of FOX Studios in Los Angeles.

    Costume Display at ArcLight Hollywood, Los Angeles
    http://i61.tinypic.com/28utk3t.jpg

    Costume Display at Landmark Theater, Los Angeles
    http://i61.tinypic.com/aaizia.jpg

    FOX Studios, Los Angeles main gate
    http://i62.tinypic.com/qxpcg4.jpg
    Gregory

    Edited at 2015-10-05 07:18 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 5th, 2015 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    You finally saw it! And now you know the role of the Hungarian ballet dancer! I hope there is a long director's cut to see a few more things that could have been there - the B roll footage gives an indication of some scenes.

    The film opens in more of Europe next week so there will be more interviews. Here's one, in which Matt mentions going to Turkish baths in Budapest with Aksel Hennie.

    http://www.elheraldo.hn/vida/886975-220/matt-damon-se-va-al-espacio-en-la-cinta-the-martian
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 5th, 2015 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    :D oh yeah the B-roll footage! Hungarian ballet dancer?
    Gregory
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Re: The Martian

    I can't remember which interview it was, but Matt said it would have been prohibitively expensive for him to lose the weight because of the way the shooting schedule was arranged. So skinny Matt was doubled by the ballet dancer.
    P
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 7th, 2015 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    I remember him saying he wanted to shoot in reverse order but and be thin in the beginning and "fatter" around Christmas :) but it didn't work out. But I don't remember him saying ballet dancer. So it was definitely a body double eh?
    Gregory
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 7th, 2015 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    Yes, a local ballet dancer.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: The Martian

    Glad you enjoyed yourself, Gregory! Thanks for the pictures. The one at the front gate of Fox is especially cool.

    I'm definitely looking forward to that director's cut as well. In the meantime if anyone feels the need for more hang time with Watney you should definitely read the book. The movie had to cut for time and there's a lot more cool stuff there! (Lol, Gregory, I'm still harassing you to read the book:).

    I saw that one of the places Matt, Clooney & co went on their night out was to a posh theater in Notting Hill. Wonder what they saw?
    Paula
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 5th, 2015 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: The Martian

    There was a sign for The Martian as they were walking out. Good looking cinema.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: The Martian

    Glad you saw it and it met expectations. I saw in standard first too and enjoyed it much more in 3D. Significantly more-- I guess I felt the peril more? I will say the humor can depend on the audience as it can be contagious. The first screening I saw ppl laughed more than twice as much as the second showing. The second showing ppl applauded during the movie. Fun to see the differences.

    I'm curious to hear if u and others find as big a difference as I have in 3D. The 3D is quite subtle but it just works.

    Cindiest
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 7th, 2015 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    I do plan to see it in 3d the next time I see it which will be soon hopefully!!
    Gregory
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian soundtrack

    A nice reflection on the disco soundtrack, and why it's so novel and effective.
    Paula

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/the-martian-and-the-new-soundtrack-of-space/408457/



    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: The Martian soundtrack

    Did anyone else bust out laughing when he started grooving to the disco music in the rover?? Lol! I sure did..

    And when he said "no... i dont want to turn the beat around"

    -Hanna
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: The Martian soundtrack

    That got a big laugh in my theater, but might be a bit spoilerish?
    Paula
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 7th, 2015 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian soundtrack

    OH yeah!!!! Great stuff :D
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Box office reflection

    An interesting recap about the past weekend's box office from Grantland. It's a celebration of good movies, with this quote.

    "... this weekend we gave Hollywood our money and didn’t feel ripped off. It was almost like movies were relevant again."
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
    A nice YouTube video about the real mission to Mars in light of The Marian. Narrated by Matt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHdLYtqj3HQ&sns=tw

    Cindiest
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Awards chances for The Martian

    Collider story in which Adam Chitwood backtracks on his "good movie but not awards worthy" chatter. It makes me happy to see it written, but dude, have some convictions of your own. The herd mentality. Ugh.
    P

    http://collider.com/oscars-the-martian-matt-damon-ridley-scott/
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 5th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Box office

    Final tally in the US: $54.3 million.
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 8th, 2015 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Box office

    Just shy of the 55. Second biggest opener after Ultimatum!!! Woot Woot!!!
    G
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 6th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)

    Ellen

    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2015 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Ellen

    Lol!! That was funny... gotta love Ellen!!

    -Hanna
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2015 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    The screenplay

    Fun audio interview of Drew Goddard by Anne Thompson. I think he's a shoo-in to be nominated for best adapted screenplay.
    Paula

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/how-screenwriter-drew-goddard-made-the-martian-smart-and-why-it-needed-two-f-words-20151005
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian

    This is insanely wonderful, thanks to Cmdr Hadfield. An accurate video of the Mars landscape which Watney traveled through. I laughed out loud at "The Watney Triangle" (book reference), and teared up at other times.
    Paula

    https://twitter.com/cmdr_hadfield/status/651403923845021699

    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 7th, 2015 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)

    Oscar potential

    I had missed this. An ongoing discussion of the Oscar race at THR the other day featured these quotes:

    (On possible favorites so far)

    FEINBERG: Perhaps the small handful that have performed solidly with critics and audiences — Disney-Pixar's Inside Out, Universal's Straight Outta Compton and, after its screenings at the Toronto and New York film festivals and performance at the box office last weekend, Fox's The Martian.

    GALLOWAY: The Martian is looking stronger by the minute.

    ... (and)

    GALLOWAY: And its director, Ridley Scott, may stand an even better shot than the film. He’s revered, aging and never has been recognized — not even in the year when his film Gladiator won best picture — and he’s out there working it.

    ...(and)

    GALLOWAY: I can't think of two better performances this year than Matt Damon's in The Martian and Alicia Vikander's in The Danish Girl — and they're both stuck shooting the same film: the new Bourne movie. The problem for Damon is, people are going to have to be reminded he's acting, because he makes it look so simple and real — and voters like to see the acting. And with Vikander, people still aren't quite sure who she is or if they want to see that movie.

    Paula
    From: cindiest Date: October 7th, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Oscar potential

    Thank you. I agree that he makes it look so simple and real.
    From: cindiest Date: October 7th, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 7th, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Colbert

    Really enjoyed the plug Stephen Colbert gave The Martian last night. Although his slant was about pandering to China, Matt's suited Martian poster was on screen for minutes at a time, and Colbert said he thought it was a good film. I think Colbert is the smartest guy out there. The Martian marches on!

    Louie
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 7th, 2015 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Colbert

    Thanks for the tip - it's uploaded to YouTube.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V4WBsahU3X4

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 7th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Bourne filming

    It has been difficult to find any info on Bourne 5 filming in London. They were at Harrow's former Kodak factory site on Wednesday. Kodak used to employ 6,000 people to make cameras on the site and it is now closed down and being redeveloped.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153140112898016

    Edited at 2015-10-08 12:10 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 7th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Happy Birthday Matt

    Thanks for showing how moving to Mars is a stupid idea. Earth appreciates you, and water.org. P.S. I knew I should have given you a potato masher at the Elysium premiere (for your Get Lucky dance moves), could have come handy with all those potatoes. hehe. Happy Birthday!! Love always, M.. Mel :)
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 8th, 2015 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    HaHaHa! What a way for him to bring in his 45th B'day on top! I have to admit I kinda gasped when he came into the Hab and started undress when he pulled his arms out of the astronaut suit and his biceps were exposed. LOL Lookin' good Matty.
    G
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 8th, 2015 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    And The Martian looks set to be number one again this week, with Pan the major contender.

    http://www.thewrap.com/the-martian-set-to-continue-its-soar-in-second-straight-weekend-win/

    Link to a Ridley Oscar talk discussion (which Jeff Wells continues to be upset about):

    http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/2015/10/standards-practices/

    Edited at 2015-10-08 01:10 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    Hi Felicity and Gregory, Yes also an appreciation for Matt with no shirt on 8-) moment since Elysium. Note to Bourne Director: Keep them coming. Mel
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    Agreed!! Me andy sister were both like "dayuuum!" Lol!
    He's very hot for a middle-aged dad!!

    -Hanna
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    He looks great for 45! And I hope The Martian will continue doing great at the box office! It would be a great birthday gift for him! Definitely going to watch it again this weekend!

    -Rose
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Happy Birthday Matt

    All the best for you, Matty, Happy Birthday! It will be a terrific year with great hits (I hope) and maybe some awards ...(If you don't think about that, WE do and it will be so crazy!). Keep your low-key style and your smile everyday, and...be happy.
    B.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Happy Birthday Matt

    As you guys say, a great occasion for a birthday. Not only to have the critically beloved #1 movie around the world, but working with one of his favorite directors, doing what he loves, with his family around him. A time to sit back and be thankful. And for us, doubtless a few nice little write-ups for his big day. 🎉🎁🎂👏🏼
    Paula
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 8th, 2015 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)

    Matt's Birthday

    Happy 45th Birthday Matt and i love you so much because I'm you one of your biggest fans!
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: October 9th, 2015 07:23 am (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian 2nd go-round

    Well, I couldn't resist... I saw it for a second time this evening, and this time in Real 3D.
    I have to say, the film really did pop off the screen, very nicely shot. 3D not necessary, but it didn't distract or ruin the film at all in my opinion, but slightly bring it even more to life. The landscape was simply awe inspiring, and to witness the tenacity of Watney's character fight against the odds in a lonely far off place. Matt nails it. The audience for this screening did not laugh as much as when I saw it the first time. Interesting difference, I think the film leans more to the dramatic side than the comedy. I really appreciated the soundtrack this time, and some of the dialogue more this time. My favorite line in the entire film is still the one when Watney says if he dies he wants his parents to know that he did something that he loved and something big, that was greater than him, and thanks for being my parents. Its the moment when the protagonist knows he's done all he can do, and the rest is left up to fate. I took away from the movie that we should all try to live that big and full, face adversity with humor and just take one step at a time. Similar to Interstellar, the protagonist doesn't want to be alone and wants to be back with humans, he also respects the rover and respects the hab knowing that they may serve a future explorer someday. Space really is the next frontier.
    Gregory

    Edited at 2015-10-09 07:24 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2015 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian 2nd go-round

    "My favorite line in the entire film is still the one when Watney says if he dies he wants his parents to know that he did something that he loved and something big, that was greater than him, and thanks for being my parents."

    Mine too, although, as passionate as I feel, the standard is set for celebrity = success.

    Mel
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