Jeff Daniels

'The Martian' rockets to $55-million opening; can it beat 'Gravity'?

Twentieth Century Fox's "The Martian" launched with an estimated $55 million weekend at the domestic box office, nearly matching the October record held by the 2013 stranded-in-space film "Gravity."

Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," which cost $108 million to make, met the higher end of industry tracking expectations after facing little competition from other new releases. The film follows astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who, assumed to be dead, is alive and stranded alone on the hostile planet. Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Donald Glover also star.