Ridley Scott’s The Martian soars into the box office stratosphere with $55 million debut

Scott’s latest sci-fi epic, The Martian, blasted off with a huge $55 million at the box office this weekend, almost surpassing the similar UK-made sci-fi adventure, Gravity, as the highest-grossing October debut in history.

Based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, the film has met with amazing reviews for Scott and his team, and for leading man Matt Damon who stars as Mars-stranded astronaut Mark Watney. Garnering £4.90m plus £1.63m in Wednesday and Thursday previews, The Martian has delivered the biggest UK opening since July, and is Scott’s best opening since Prometheus in June 2012 with £6.24m.

The sky’s not the limit for UK crew

Although internationally filmed (and predominantly extra-terrestrially set), the film boasts an abundance of British crew, illustrating the breadth of production talent the UK has to offer.

Alongside Scott, the film’s producers include industry veteran Mark Huffam (World War Z, Prometheus) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes), with casting by Nina Gold (The Danish Girl, Paddington). Musical composition was led by Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and recorded at the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios in London.

UK VFX teams make Mars a reality

The Martian also exploited the wealth of UK based VFX houses, whose skill and expertise brought Mars and the vastness of space so vividly and believably to life. These included the Moving Picture Company (Life of Pi, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Framestore (Everest, Gravity), Milk Visual Effects (Everest, Ex Machina), Prime Focus World (Pan, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and The Senate Visual Effects (Maleficent, X-Men First Class) making The Martian a shining example of how the UK is a major force in post-production for internationally shot features.

With the majority of post-production being UK based, the production team were also able to take advantage of the generous UK Film Tax Relief.

A meteoric rise…

The Martian continues to be a cinema-goer’s favourite, and is still playing worldwide.