In their opening weekends, James Bond and Charlie Brown brought the box office roaring back to life, as "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie" attracted big crowds.
Debuting to $73 million from 3,929 theaters,"Spectre," the latest 007 adventure, took first place. Making it the second highest in series history, but one that nevertheless trails the launch of "Skyfall." The previous film in the long-running franchise bowed to $88.4 million, but had better reviews and benefited from being the only new wide-release in its opening weekend.
Going into the weekend, tracking suggested that the film would debut to $80 million, but the strength of "The Peanuts Movie" and some critical grousing may have depressed ticket sales slightly.
With a production budget of $250 million and millions more in marketing costs, "Spectre" has to pull in $650 million globally to break even.
So far,"Spectre" remains a juggernaut, pulling in $200 million and pushing its worldwide total to more than $300 million after two weeks in release.
It's a time of transition for Bond. Daniel Craig, who was praised by critics for injecting an emotional depth and danger to the character, has hinted this is his last time playing the role.
The search for a replacement has already triggered frenzied speculation about who can take over the series. And Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions are weighing distribution offers. Sony's deal to distribute the Bond films expires with "Spectre," and though the studio is expected to make a bid to keep the series, other suitors, such as Warner Bros. and Paramount, will aggressively pursue the rights to the franchise.