Box office hits and misses: James Bond and Charlie Brown reign supreme for another week

SPECTRE
Given the lack of significant competition at the box office, it should probably come as no surprise that the top two films remained the same for the second week in a row.

Spectre, the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, continued its box-office dominance with a $35.4 million weekend in the U.S. that brought the film’s total worldwide gross to more than $543 million. The film’s impressive pace has put it right behind 2012’s Skyfall as far as earnings go, but it’s still trailing behind all three of Daniel Craig’s other adventures as Agent 007 from a critical standpoint. Given the underwhelming reviews, it will be interesting to see how long Spectre can keep up its momentum.

The most successful new movie of the weekend was the ensemble film Love the Coopers, a holiday comedy with a cast that includes Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, and Olivia Wilde. The film earned a decent $8.4 million for the weekend, but it’s ridiculously poor reviews could get in the way of its extremely holiday-friendly theme when audiences are deciding which movie to check out with the family.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Spectre $35.4M $130.7M $543.8M
2. The Peanuts Movie $24.2M $82.5M $90.6M
3. Love the Coopers $8.4M $8.4M $8.4M
4. The Martian $6.7M $207.4M $477.9M
5. The 33 $5.9M $5.9M $18.5M
6. Goosebumps $4.7M $73.5M $103.2M
7. Bridge of Spies $4.3M $61.7M $80.9M
8. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo $2.4M $2.8M $33.9M
9. Hotel Transylvania 2 $2.4M $165.2M $417.8M
10. The Last Witch Hunter $1.5M $26.1M $84.9M

The other big film to make its debut over the weekend was the Chilean miner drama The 33, which opened to the tune of $5.9 million and received positive reviews from critics and general audiences alike. The dramatization of the infamous 2010 mining accident stars Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, and Gabriel Byrne, and only ended up with a per-theater average of $2,386 for the weekend — not exactly a major success, but not a total flop.

One of the more surprising films to find its way into the weekend’s top-ten movies was the Bollywood musical Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (“I Received A Treasure Called Love”), which had a $2.4 million debut in the U.S. on its way to becoming the fourth-biggest opening of all time for a Bollywood movie in North America. The film also set a new opening-weekend record in India with its $8.61 million debut.

While it fell well outside the weekend’s top 10 films, the Oscar-friendly drama Spotlight expanded into 60 theaters ahead of its wide release next weekend. So far, the film has earned $1.8 million from extremely limited screenings, but is quickly becoming a film many expect to challenge The Martian for top honors when Academy Award season rolls around.

The upcoming weekend’s biggest release will certainly be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, the much-anticipated conclusion of The Hunger Games franchise. Along with that surefire blockbuster, the weekend also features the debuts of Tom Hardy’s dual-role gangster drama Legend and the raunchy holiday comedy The Night Before, starring Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

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