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'The Martian' Movie's Nerd Appeal Could Bring in $40 Million at Weekend Box Office

More science, less dependence on special effects.

20th Century Fox

After getting stranded on Mars in the new movie “The Martian,” Mark Watney — played by Matt Damon — vows to “science the shit out of” his attempt to extricate himself from the barren planet, and the dire conditions in which he finds himself.

That solemn promise, uttered with strange jocularity by Damon’s character, becomes the modus operandi for “The Martian,” a science fiction vehicle that almost prides itself on technical devotion to science. In a twist, the movie actually shedding itself of most of the special effects wizardry and suspension of disbelief that are the mother’s milk of most sci-fi movies nowadays.

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