Spectre, the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, opened to a mammoth $73 million weekend, marking it as the second highest opening for a James Bond movie ever behind 2012’s Skyfall. The feature film adaptation of the beloved Peanuts comic strip added a $45 million opening to help the box office rebound from the worst box office weekend of the year and the worst grossing Halloween weekend at the theaters in 16 years.
According to Brad Brevit at Box Office Mojo, Spectre fell just over $15 million behind Skyfall, although Skyfall opened in 2012 unopposed, whereas Spectre likely had a large bite taken out of its potential box office earnings opening the same weekend as the family friendly Peanuts Movie, which, aside from decades of intrinsic brand awareness also benefited from a lengthy and well-budgeted advertising campaign. The gamble appears to have paid off, as families likely elected to put off Spectre in favor of the more kid friendly Peanuts.
Spectre, which reunited Daniel Craig as James Bond with Skyfall director Sam Mendes, as Jonathan Olley of Entertainment Weekly points out, has already crushed records internationally opening as the largest Bond movie ever in the U.K. and already amassing $296.1 million at the global box office in only 10 days. Craig, who stars as super spy James Bond for the fourth time, had spoken in interviews about moving on from the 007 character, but with Spectre sure to hang around the box office top five for weeks to come, may have second thoughts as he sees his popularity and his bank account soar.
The Peanuts Movie benefits from a solid and recognizable brand, which may help keep some wind in its sails in the coming weeks. However, despite the relative staying power of such family friendly animated films, the coming weeks, particularly Thanksgiving weekend, sees some powerhouse competitors looking to knock it out of the top ten, including the latest in the wildly popular Hunger Games franchise.
Coming in at third place at the box office is the movie that just refuses to let up. Ridley Scott’s The Martian added $9.3 million, bringing its overall box office take to just under the $200 million mark, which the film could surpass by the time final ticket counts are tallied. If not, The Martian, the intergalactic trip to Mars saga starring Matt Damon, will certainly eclipse that mark next weekend. The staying power of this film is astonishing considering it is in its sixth week of release. The Martian, already Ridley Scott’s highest grossing film of all time, has yet to hit the Chinese and Japanese box offices, where it will add substantially to its staggering $458.5 million earnings. It is not out of the realm of possibility that The Martian, when all is said and done, could be looking at over $1 billion in overall box office earnings.
Goosebumps, the feature film adaptation of the popular children’s horror book series by acclaimed youth author R.L. Stine, came in fourth place bringing in just under $7 million. The take brought its overall box office total to $66.4 million in its fourth week of release. The Jack Black vehicle has already achieved profitability and stands to make much of its profit in the DVD / Blu-Ray / digital download realm.
Rounding out the top five is the Steven Spielberg spy thriller Bridge of Spies. The drama, starring Tom Hanks and written by the Coen Brothers, continues to hold strong adding just over $6 million to bring its total to just under $55 million, but will likely fall out of the top five by next weekend.