November 7, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Spectre” and “Peanuts” Bring Hollywood Back


After several painful weekends burdened by one high-profile flop after another, Hollywood was bailed out by two of its most venerable franchises.

SPECTRE (MGM/Columbia/Sony) will be, based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, the 2d biggest opener of the Bond series.  Its $28.1M first day (which includes $5.25M from Thursday night) puts it behind only the $33M for 2012’s Skyfall (which included $2.2M for IMAX-only Thursday runs).  It should have a $75M weekend, compared to $90.6M for Skyfall.  That would be the 7th biggest opening of the year, with no competition besides the different-skewing Hunger Games for a solid month.  However, the 15% reduction from Skyfall, if it extends worldwide, would be bad news for Sony, which according to one of the studio’s hacked documents would only see a $37M profit even if Spectre makes the full $1.1B that Skyfall did, due to the new movie’s gargantuan cost (somewhere around $450M with worldwide marketing included) and the sweetheart deal Sony gave MGM in order to win the James Bond rights, which include kicking in 50% of the production budget and most of the marketing costs in exchange for 25% of the revenue.

THE PEANUTS MOVIE (20th) had no trouble transitioning the comic strip to 3D digital animation for a new audience.  It earned around $12.5M on Friday, and should be at $45M+ by Sunday, similar to the $48.4M opening for Hotel Transylvania 2.  It faces no competition until The Good Dinosaur arrives for Thanksgiving, and there should be plenty of profit ahead on a $250M production/marketing budget, and sequels to come.

Holdovers are still led by THE MARTIAN (TSG/20th), down a tiny 23% from last Friday to $2.7M, and headed for a weekend that could approach $10M.  It will top $200M in the US by next weekend, and is also about to become the most successful film in Ridley Scott’s 4-decade long career.  BRIDGE OF SPIES (DreamWorks/20th/Disney) is also holding well, down 28% from last Friday to $1.8M and on track for a $6M weekend that will put it at $55M in the US.

GOOSEBUMPS (Columbia/Sony) and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Columbia Sony) were both affected by the arrival of Peanuts, but not horribly so.  Goosebumps dropped 44% from last Friday to $1.7M, and Transylvania was down 53% to $900K, with respective weekends of $6.5M and $3.5M ahead.

Of last week’s bombs, BURNT (Weinstein), down 50% to $900K for a $3M weekend, is in better shape than OUR BRAND IS CRISIS (Participant/Warners), down 59% to $450K for a $1.5M weekend.

A trio of awards hopefuls hit limited release this weekend, and SPOTLIGHT (Open Road), which some already consider an Oscar favorite, is faring best, aiming for a $50K+ per-theatre average for the weekend in 5 NY/LA theatres.  BROOKLYN (Fox Searchlight) is also solid, on track for $35K weekend average at 5 after a Wednesday opening.  TRUMBO (Bleecker Street) is lagging, on its way to a $15K average at 5.  In addition, MISS YOU ALREADY (Lionsgate/Roadside) had a not-quite-wide opening at 384 theatres, and won’t be much higher than a $1000 average for the weekend.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."