The Martian Blasts to Top of Box Office Charts

Mars means money.

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The sci-fi drama The Martian has soared to the top of box office charts this weekend, with a massive $55 million haul.

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The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, earned only slightly less than the current record holder for an October opening. In 2013, the similarly themed space thriller Gravity took $55.8 million on its opening weekend.

The Martian has benefitted from strong reviews, prominent marketing and a wide-rollout to 3,831 theatres. It now stands as the second best opening of both Damon's and Scott's careers, sitting behind The Bourne Ultimatum and Hannibal respectively.

Elsewhere in the chart, the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 dropped into second place, earning an impressive $33 million, bringing its domestic total to $90.5 million. The acclaimed crime thriller Sicario expanded nationally this week and rose to third, making $12 million.

In an interview with Space.com this week, Scott explained why The Martian had a potentially even wider appeal than the likes of Gravity.

"I think what we've got may be an even bigger palette, bigger vista," he said. "You've got all four quadrants. We've got great drama. You've got a lot of humor--which comes out of the drama, out of the reality of the situation. We've got truthful machines and technologies. And I think we've got pretty good visuals."

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