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Matt Damon News Column
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
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    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

    Costume Display at Landmark Theater, Los Angeles

    FOX Studios, Los Angeles main gate

    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.

    RE: Re: The Martian - (Anonymous) - Expand
    RE: The Martian - (Anonymous) - Expand
    RE: The Martian - (Anonymous) - Expand
    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.


    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"

    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.


    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.

    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!!!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 6th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)


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

    RE: Ellen

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

    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.

    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.


    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.


    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.

    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)


    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!

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

    RE: Colbert

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


    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.


    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.
    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!
    40 comments or Leave a comment
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