'Spectre' Bonds With 'Peanuts' At The Box-Office - Week 1 | Star Wars: The Force Awakens | The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 | Spectre

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'Spectre' Bonds With 'Peanuts' At The Box-Office - Week 1

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -  Part 2
Spectre
The Peanuts Movie
The Good Dinosaur
The Night Before

I always hate when I'm the last one to notice a trend, but for the forth Daniel Craig Bond film in a row, 007 has battled an animated family film on his opening weekend. I recall clearly the Bond Begins film Casino Royal losing the weekend and ultimately the total gross in 2006 to Happy Feet. I forgot that Quantum of Solace opened against Madagascar 2 and though Quantum won the weekend, the movie that celebrated how love between a giraffe and hippo is a natural and wonderful thing won the war. In 2012 Skyfall so blew the roof off with the biggest Bond opening ever, somehow I missed that one of my favorite animated films in the past few years opened that same weekend: Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph couldn't wreck James' 50th Birthday Party, but it sure made a statement making almost $200 million. How would Spectre do battle with its animated counterpart this time around?

The sky seemed to fall just a little bit with Spectre's $70.4 million opening. While still a high number, it's almost $20 million less than Skyfall's $88.3 million debut. Though it makes total sense for 007 to come back to earth after the outlier success of Skyfall, Spectre's start is almost closer to Quantum of Solace and if it achieves around the same $168.4 million domestic total of a film that was about as fun as cleaning your toenails with an ice pick, Daniel Craig won't be the only one asking for him to be done with the series.

Still, if Spectre is the end of the Daniel Craig Bond's, and you get the feeling it is given the way the filmmakers try to tie together his three previous films into this adventure, it's been a great run and gives hope there are still further missions ahead that will require James Bond's attention. If nothing else, they made it clear why 009 is never the one everyone's counting on. At least we'll be spared a spin-off series.

The Peanuts Movie returned Charlie Brown to the big screen for the first time in 35 years. I guess when they made Bon Yoyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back) they meant it! There were many question marks about this film before it came out, however a $44 million start should put most of those fears to rest. It's just a little behind Wreck-It Ralph's $49 million debut and that went on to become a Top Five Holiday Movie Pool film in 2012. Could the same fate await Snoopy and company this time around?

With the next family animation film two and a half weeks away, The Peanuts Movie should have some room to capitalize on its opening weekend and positive word of mouth. I'm just glad 20th Century Fox moved away from their marketing plan of offering free epi-pens to those with peanut allergies at the showings. Just putting a "No actual peanuts were used in the making of this film" in the ending credits was a better idea.

The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Spectre - $70.4 million
#2. The Peanuts Movie - $44.2 million
#3. n/a
#4. n/a
#5. n/a

*****
Extra Bonus Section

Since folks often ask, here were my Top Five predictions for the season. Since I haven't won this in almost 20 years, you better hope you don't have the same Top Five!

My final four were pretty easy to come by and the placement seemed to, thankfully, fall into place. #5 is a complete wild card. Nothing stood out. If I'd had any faith in The Peanuts Movie, that looks like that would've been a good call. I went with Seth Rogan instead. Good Grief!

#1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Even when Phantom Menace wasn't very good, it still made $450 million and that was in 20th century money. It could be Fantastic Four bad and still win the pool this year... Just please, don't be Fantastic Four bad... please? I think this could get to Avatar's $760 million gross, but not by MLK Day. By then I'll say $645 million

#2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - The first two Hunger Games were in the $400 million range. Mockingjay Part 1 dropped a chunk to $337 million. I think this one lands between those two numbers as people will want to see how it all ends.

#3. Spectre - Even if I thought this could be a Skyfall-size hit, I'd have before Mockingjay. I thought this would drop more to the $250 million range, which would be optimistic at this point. $210 million seems more likely... which isn't a good thing if my #4 is as good as most Pixar films are.

#4. The Good Dinosaur - This seems to be the black sheep of Pixar films. It went through numerous development problems, yet that's never stopped Pixar from cracking a $200 million gross before. Given how Spectre opened, I'm a little nervous about it being able to hold this film off... That said, there just doesn't seem to be the same level of buzz for this film as previous Pixar entries. If it only gets fair reviews, I think it'll only do fair.

#5. The Night Before - So help me, I just put a Seth Rogan film in my Top Five. Neighbors made $150 million though and if this comes close to that, that seems better than any other options out there. I even considered Alvin's Road Chip, but it feels like all of the other Christmas releases are going to be buried by Star Wars and November seems a better month to make some cash. And with that, let the games begins...


by Matt Neuenburg on 11/12/2015

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Spectre, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Good Dinosaur, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, The Night Before, The Peanuts Movie
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