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Spectre opens to $70 million in US and tops box office


Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Bond adventure Spectre has shot to the top of the US box office with a $70 million opening weekend.

The figure is the second-biggest opening for any film in the iconic 007 franchise and one of the top showings of the year to date for any film, blockbuster or otherwise.

The news was also good globally, where the 24th James Bond film took in nearly $200 million for the weekend for an early world-wide haul of over $300 million.

Commenting on Spectre‘s start as a whole, Rory Bruer, Sony worldwide distribution president, told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a fantastic start. On every continent — including Latin America, Asia and Europe — it is breaking Skyfall records.”

In the UK especially, it continues to outpace Skyfall and is re-writing the record books.

But back in the US, it did actually fall short of Skyfall‘s opening figure of $88.4 million in November 2012, which therefore remains the series best in the US. It did, however, beat openings of Casino Royale ($40.8 million) and Quantum of Solace ($67.5 million).

Elsewhere in the US, Snoopy revival The Peanuts Movie, which is looking to launch a new family franchise, opened to $45 million, which marked a solid start when taking into account that its target audience isn’t necessarily familiar with the late Charles M. Schulz’s famous comic strip characters.

The release of the film does, however, coincide with the 65th anniversary of the strip and the 50th anniversary of the classic TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

The story follows Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the gang as they embark on an epic quest when Snoopy takes to the skies to pursue the Red Baron.

Last week’s box office No.1, Ridley Scott’s The Martian continued to prosper despite competition from Spectre, coming in third in its sixth weekend with $9.3 million. The film has now made $197.1 million in the US alone and now marks Scott’s top showing of all time, not accounting for inflation. His previous best was the Oscar-winning epic Gladiator ($187.7 million).

Sony’s family film Goosebumps placed fourth in its fourth weekend with $7 million (for a US total of $66.5 million) and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-tipped Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, rounded out the top five with $6.1 million (US total, $55 million).

There were also solid debuts for three awards hopefuls getting limited starts. Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan; Spotlight, a child molestation drama involving the Catholic Church and starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, and Bryan Cranston Trumbo all performed ahead of expectation, buoyed by strong reviews.

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