The last two weekends helped prove that putting too many new releases in theaters at the same time is not good for business overall. The Martian ended up winning both weekends, with all nine new titles severely under-performing in their opening frames, some of which even failed to crack the top 10. This weekend brought only two new releases to the box office, Spectre and The Peanuts Movie, both of which helped stop the recent slump. Spectre came out on top with $73 million this weekend, with The Peanuts Movie coming in second place with $45 million, according to the estimates from Box Office Mojo.
As expected, Spectre's opening weekend was higher that the entire top 10 grosses last weekend combined ($62.6 million), which was the worst box office performance of the year thus far. Spectre is expected to open in 3,929 theaters nationwide, with The Peanuts Movie opening in 3,897 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 drops to third place with $9.3 million, dropping just 20.6%, bringing its domestic total to just over $197 million. The sci-fi thriller will likely cross the $200 million domestic box office milestone later this week. Goosebumps dropped to fourth place with $6.9 million, while Bridge of Spies took fifth place with $6 million. Rounding out the top 10 will be Hotel Transylvania 2 ($3.5 million), Burnt ($3 million), The Last Witch Hunter ($2.6 million), The Intern ($1.8 million) and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension ($1.6 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.
The weekend also broght a number of succesful indies opening in limited release. Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, took in $181,000 from just five theaters, pulling in an impressive $36,200 per-screen average. Open Road Films' Spotlight starring Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo took in $302,276 from five theaters for an incredible $60,455 per-screen average and Bleecker Street's Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren and John Goodman earned $77,229 from five theaters for a $15,446 per-screen average. Roadside Attractions' Miss You Already starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore, didn't fare quite so well, pulling in $572,160 from 384 theaters for a paltry $1,490 per-screen average. No box office data was released for Magnolia's Entertainment starring Michael Cera. 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.
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, take a look at this weekend's top 10.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: