By Daniel Garris
Spectre debuted in first place this weekend with $70.40 million. The latest installment of Sony and MGM's James Bond franchise opened on the low end of its wide ranging expectations. Compared to the most recent opening weekend performances of the James Bond franchise, Spectre opened 20 percent below the $88.36 million start of 2012's Skyfall and just 4 percent ahead of the $67.53 million opening of 2008's Quantum of Solace. However, it should be noted that the opening weekend take of Quantum of Solace stands at $78.91 million when adjusting for ticket price inflation. While Spectre was off to a solid start this weekend, the goodwill with audiences left behind by Skyfall failed to help lead to a break-out debut for Spectre. Mixed critical reviews, especially from critics in North America, also appear to have taken a toll on the film's potential.
Spectre opened with $27.43 million on Friday (which included an estimated $5.25 million from Thursday evening shows), declined 4 percent on Saturday to take in $26.28 million and fell 36.5 percent on Sunday to gross $16.68 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.57 to 1. In comparison, Skyfall had a stronger ratio of 2.90 to 1 (though the figure is inflated a bit from part of that film's Thursday night previews not being officially counted towards its opening weekend take), while Quantum of Solace had a slightly weaker ratio of 2.50 to 1. Spectre received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore. The film (and the marketplace in general) could receive an added boost next weekend with not much being expected from next weekend's new wide releases.
The Peanuts Movie placed in second with a $44.21 million start. While the long-awaited 3D computer animated adaptation from Fox and Blue Sky debuted well behind Spectre this weekend, The Peanuts Movie performed more in line with pre-release expectations and is very likely to hold up far better than Spectre going forward. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Peanuts Movie debuted 10 percent below the $49.04 million start of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph and just behind the $44.31 million debut of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks. The opening weekend performance of The Peanuts Movie, along with the film's strong critical reception, suggests that we'll be seeing more theatrical Peanuts films in the future.
The Peanuts Movie started out with $12.08 million on Friday (the film didn't have Thursday evening previews), increased a promising 62 percent on Saturday to gross $19.57 million and slid 36 percent on Sunday to take in $12.56 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.66 to 1. In addition to its strong critical reviews, The Peanuts Movie received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. It will be important for The Peanuts Movie to hold up well over the next couple weeks, especially with Disney's highly anticipated The Good Dinosaur entering the marketplace on Wednesday, November 25th.
After leading the box office four of the past five weekends, fellow Fox release The Martian fell to third this weekend with $9.07 million. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down just 22.5 percent from last weekend. That represented an exceptional hold, especially given the new direct competition the film faced from Spectre and that last week's one-week IMAX run for The Martian is now over. The Martian is on the verge of reaching the $200 million domestic mark with an impressive 38-day gross of $196.84 million. That places the film 18 percent ahead of the $166.75 million Interstellar grossed after 38 days of wide release and 15 percent behind the $231.25 million 38-day take of 2013's Gravity.
Goosebumps claimed fourth place with $6.80 million. Sony's 3D horror comedy starring Jack Black was down 31 percent from last weekend. Goosebumps continues to perform in line with expectations with a 24-day gross of $66.28 million. The film is currently running 23 percent ahead of the $53.73 million 24-day take of last year's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies rounded out the weekend's top five with $5.84 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks continued to hold up nicely, as it was down 30 percent. Bridge of Spies has grossed a healthy $54.72 million in 24 days, which already gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.56 to 1.
On the platform front, Open Road's Spotlight was off to a nice start with $295,009 from 5 locations in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. That gave the awards season hopeful starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton a promising per-location average of $59,002 this weekend. In comparison, last year's Birdman had a platform launch of $424,397 from 4 locations (for a per-location average of $106,099). Spotlight will receive a major expansion this coming Friday and is scheduled to go into moderate release on November 20th.
Elsewhere in platform release, fellow awards season hopeful Brooklyn took in $187,281 from 5 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed film starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson a per-location average of $37,456 for the frame. Since its debut on Wednesday, Brooklyn has grossed $243,670 in five days of release. Brooklyn will expand into more locations this coming Friday and will continue to expand into additional locations throughout November.