Bond, Charlie Brown remain on top
NEW YORK (AP)
The box office duo of James Bond and Charlie Brown again dominated North American cinemas over the weekend, while Angelina Jolie Pitt's By the Sea made barely a ripple.
Sony's Spectre, the 24th Bond installment and last week's top film, took in US$35.4 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Daniel Craig's fourth Bond film, has flexed its muscles most mightily abroad, where the majority of its US$500 million-plus two-week global haul has come from. It got a boost over the weekend in China, where it debuted with US$48 million - the best opening for a 2-D, US release in China, Sony said.
The Peanuts Movie from 20th Century Fox remained in second place with US$24.2 million. Both it and Spectre held strongly in their second weeks. The Peanuts Movie has grossed US$82.5 million thus far.
Of the new releases, the Christmas comedy Love the Coopers - a family holiday gathering directed by Jessie Nelson and starring an ensemble including Diane Keaton and Alan Arkin - fared best. It took in US$8.4 million for CBS Films.
Warner Bros' Chilean miner drama The 33 earned a middling US$5.8 million. Although the 2010 disaster, which trapped 33 miners underground riveted the world for 69 days, moviegoers showed little interest in a dramatised version of the event starring Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Universal Pictures scaled back the release of the poorly reviewed By the Sea, a marital drama starring Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt, considerably. Playing in just 10 cinemas, it made only US$95,440. The third film directed by Jolie Pitt, who also wrote the script, By the Sea was made for a modest US$10 million, so it won't hurt Universal much. However, By The Sea proved surprisingly unappealing to moviegoers despite starring two of Hollywood's biggest draws.
Expanding to 60 cinemas, Tom McCarthy's acclaimed Spotlight, about the Boston Globe investigation into Catholic priest sex abuse, pulled in US$1.4 million for Open Road Films, with a per-screen average of US$23,307. Tabbed as an Oscar favourite, the film, featuring an ensemble including Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, is stoking interest with a gradual expansion.
Next weekend Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the final chapter in the young-adult saga, is sure to supplant Bond at the top of the box office.
Following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Rentrak.
1. Spectre, US$35.4m
2. The Peanuts Movie, US$24.2m
3. Love the Coopers, US$8.4m
4. The Martian, US$6.7m
5. The 33, US$5.8m
6. Goosebumps, US$4.7m
7. Bridge of Spies, US$4.3m
8. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, US$2.4m
9. Hotel Transylvania 2, US$2.4m
10. The Last Witch Hunter, US$1.5m.