The past two weekends have been good for 20th Century Fox's The Martian at the box office, but they have been simply horrid for any newcomer that dares challenge it. Last weekend, The Martian won with just $11.4 million, as high-profile new releases such as Burnt and Our Brand Is Crisis pulled in dismal numbers, and another new release, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, failed to even crack the top 10. This weekend only brings two new movies to theaters in wide release, Spectre and The Peanuts Movie, both of which are expected to bring new life to the sagging box office this weekend.
According to the projections from BoxOffice.com, Spectre is expected to take in a whopping $90 million, with The Peanuts Movie projected to take a distant second place with a respectable $47 million opening weekend tally. If Spectre hits or exceeds its projection, its opening weekend will be higher that the entire top 10 grosses last weekend combined, which was the fourth worst box office performance of the year thus far. Spectre is expected to open in 3,800 theaters nationwide, with The Peanuts Movie opening in 3,600 theaters. Spectre has earned a 65% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes thus far, and The Peanuts Movie is currently scoring a 71% rating.
Spectre's projection shouldn't come as a huge surprise, since the James Bond thriller dominated at the international box office last weekend, taking in $80.4 million in just six international territories. Spectre centers on a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as Spectre. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of Spectre. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of Spectre, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.
The Peanuts Movie comes on the heels of the beloved comic strip's 65th Anniversary, introducing these beloved characters to a whole new generation. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved "Peanuts" gang make their big-screen debut, like they've never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Snoopy, the world's most lovable beagle - and flying ace - embarks upon his greatest mission as he takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis The Red Baron, while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the Ice Age films, The Peanuts Movie will prove that every underdog has his day.
The Martian will drop to third place with $7.8 million, and the receipts from the rest of the week at the box office may bring this sci-fi thriller over the $200 million domestic box office milestone. Goosebumps is expected to drop to fourth place with $6.6 million, while Bridge of Spies will take fifth place with $4.1 million. Rounding out the top 10 will be Hotel Transylvania 2 ($3.9 million), Burnt ($2.3 million), The Last Witch Hunter ($2.1 million), Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension ($1.8 million) and Our Brand Is Crisis $1.5 million. Over the past two weekends, nine movies have opened in wide release, and after the dreadful results, studios may think twice about overcrowding certain weekends. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, only Christmas Day will be as crowded, with four new movies opening in wide release, Concussion, Joy, Daddy's Home and Point Break, with highly-anticipated awards contenders The Revenant and The Hateful Eight opening in limited release. Only time will tell if Christmas will become a box office disaster like the past two weekends.
Also opening in limited release this weekend are Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, Magnolia's Entertainment starring Michael Cera and John C. Reilly, Roadside Attractions' Miss You Already starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore, Open Road Film's Spotlight starring Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo and Bleecker Street's Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren and John Goodman. Both Spotlight and Trumbo have been getting a lot of Oscar buzz as of late, although it isn't known if their respective studios are planning nationwide expansions anytime soon. Spotlight, Trumbo and Brooklyn are all slated to open in five theaters, but no specific theater counts were given for the rest of the field.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new films open in wide release, Warner Bros.' The 33 starring Antonio Banderas, CBS Films' Love the Coopers starring Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried and Diane Keaton, and Clarius Entertainment's My All American, starring Robin Tunney, Sarah Bolger and Aaron Eckhart. Opening in limited release is Universal's By the Sea, starring Brad Pitt and director Angelina Jolie, Lionsgate's Heist starring Robert De Niro and Dave Bautista and The Film Arcade's James White starring Ron Livingston. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again next Tuesday for next week's projections. Until then, here are our predictions for the top 10 this weekend.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: