“Spectre” and “The Peanuts Movie” went 1-2 at the box office for the second weekend in a row, as James Bond and Charlie Brown put a trio of newcomers in their place with $35 million and $24.2 million, respectively.
That was plenty to hold off “Love the Coopers,” the ensemble holiday film that did the best of the new arrivals with an $8.4 million third-place showing for CBS Films. “The 33,” a drama about the Chilean mining disaster starring Antonio Banderas, dug up just $5.8 million for Warner Bros., and the Aaron Eckhart football saga “My All-American” never gained traction for Aviron Pictures.
“Spectre” is up to $130 million domestically and the thriller from Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and Eon Productions ruled the world as well. It was No. 1 globally for the second straight weekend, and is on the way to a record-breaking $48 million debut in China. It has now rung up nearly $550 million at the worldwide box office in roughly two weeks.
This was a good weekend for Twentieth Century Fox too.
“The Peanuts Movie,” their adaptation of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip about Snoopy and and the gang showed staying power after dropping just 45 percent from its opening week and has earned $82.5 million domestically. Meanwhile, “The Martian” took in another $2 million Friday and came in with $6.7 million in its seventh weekend.
The Jessie Nelson-directed “Love the Coopers” got a lift from older audiences, particularly women — with 72 percent of the audience female and 80 percent over the age of 25. The PG-13-rated holiday tale stars Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, Olivia Wilde, John Goodman and Amanda Seyfried.
The $17 million CBS production, distributed in conjunction with Lionsgate, was the only opener to top expectations despite the weakest reviews and the lowest CinemaScore (“B-“). Its “feel good” holiday theme probably helped, too, with the market loaded with serious adult and awards fare.
“The 33,” based on the true-life saga of 33 miners trapped in Chile in 2010, is off to a disappointing start for Warner Bros. and Alcon, which financed the $25 million survival tale. The incident kept Americans glued to their TV sets as it unfolded, but that didn’t translate to the big screen.
The market, and a more than the five-year delay, may have hurt the PG-13-rated “The 33,” according to Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak’s senior media analyst.
“It was very well received by the audiences that attended the film, but like so many others aimed at older audiences, got lost among at least 10 films chasing that same over-30-year-old moviegoer,” he said. “The time lag may have been a factor, but if you look at many of the films that are having a tough go at the box office, they are all non-sequels and that lack of familiarity may be breeding indifference.”
“The 33,” directed by Mexico’s Patricia Riggen, did get an “A-” CinemaScore from moviegoers, who liked it better than the critics (40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).
An “A” CinemaScore was the biggest positive for “My All-American,” the tale of Texas college football hero Freddie Steinmark. The drama marked the directing debut of “Hoosiers” and “Rudy” writer-producer Angelo Pizzo, who also scripted the low-budget film.
It wasn’t the start that distributor Aviron (the renamed Clarius Entertainment) wanted, but if it continues to play as strongly in Texas and the Southwest as it did this weekend, it will get into the black.
The overall box office was down around 20 percent from the same weekend a year ago when “Dumb and Dumber To” opened to $36.1 million. Next week should pick up with the debut of the franchise finale “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” and also Sony’s “The Night Before” and STX’s “Secret In Their Eyes.”