'Spectre' and 'Peanuts' Resuscitate the 2015 Box Office
by Brad Brevet
November 8, 2015
Coming off the worst October since 2007, the industry was looking to this weekend to turn the tide and that it did. With the release of Spectre and The Peanuts Movie, the weekend showed a 148% increase over last weekend and a 6% improvement over the same weekend last year with the top twelve making over $155 million. Of that total, 007, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang accounted for 76% as November 2015 is off to a good start.
Taking the number one slot is Spectre, the 24th James Bond movie and already the eighth highest grossing Bond film domestically as it brought in an estimated $73 million from 3,929 theaters. It's the second highest opening for a Bond film, $15.3 million behind the overwhelming performance of 2012's Skyfall. Internationally the film brought in $117.8 million from 77 total markets, bringing its worldwide cume to an estimated $296.1 million after ten days.
There is some question as to just how well Spectre will holdover as reviews weren't as glowing for Daniel Craig's fourth outing as 007, but an "A-" CinemaScore suggests audiences enjoyed it well enough. That's on par with 2006's Casino Royale, much better than the "B-" earned by Quantum of Solace and just a hair below Skyfall's "A". In terms of the film's future, don't look for it to come close to Skyfall's $304 million domestic haul and it will be a test to hit $200 million.
The big tell will not necessarily be in Spectre's second weekend, but more in its third and fourth. Expect it to drop somewhere around 50-55% next weekend, but after that it finds itself in direct competition with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. While Quantum of Solace had to contend with Twilight on its second weekend, the Hunger Games franchise has a far more genetically diverse audience and, being the final installment in the franchise, it's likely to put a huge dent in Spectre's take. When you look at both Skyfall and Quantum of Solace, while both faced 53-60% drops in their second weekends they did quite well in their third weekends with Skyfall in-particular only dropping 13.6%, holding on strong from then on.
Looking for a calendar comparison outside of the Bond franchise, Thor: The Dark World was another big November, franchise opener. Kicking things off with $85 million in 2013 along with an "A-" CinemaScore, The Dark World just barely eked out a $206.3 million domestic run. Outside the November timeframe, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened with $72.6 million and an "A-" CinemaScore last year before finishing with $208.5 million.
As for a future prediction, it seems very safe to assume Spectre will top Quantum's $168.3 million domestic take, and if I had to wager a guess I'd say it will settle in around $185 million once all is said and done. Overseas, however, the sky is the limit.
Skyfall blew away any previous international numbers tallied by a James Bond feature with $804 million. Comparatively, Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale made $849.3 million combined. After just ten days of release, Spectre sits at an estimated $223.1 million with the film still yet to open in France, Australia, South Korea, Japan and China.
This weekend it followed up its record-breaking opening in the UK last week by outperforming Skyfall's opening in Mexico ($4.5m), Brazil ($2.9m), Russia ($5.8m), Belgium ($2.4m), Austria ($2.6m), Hong Kong ($2.4m), Malaysia ($2.3m), Poland ($3.1m) and more. It did play about $3 million behind Skyfall in Germany ($20.1m), a couple million behind in Italy ($5.7m) and relatively on par in Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan and Singapore. In the UK it heldover very well, dropping only 29% to gross $21.3 million, bringing its UK cume to over $100 million.
Moving to second place, and the week's other new wide release, The Peanuts Movie brought in an estimated $45 million from 3,897 theaters. The CG-animated feature earned mostly positive reviews and opening day audiences gave it an "A" CinemaScore. It's tough to come to the table with a perfect comparison as first instinct is to look to Happy Feet, which opened with $41.5 million back in 2006 up against Casino Royale. That figure, however, adjusts to $52.8 million in 2015 ticket prices and Happy Feet didn't have a new Pixar release to contend with only two weeks after its initial release.
Budgeted at a reported $99 million, a domestic run at or around $170 million seems possible, but it's going to need some strong weekend holds. A good example would be to look at 2012's Wreck-It Ralph, which opened one week before Skyfall with $49 million and an "A" CinemaScore, eventually going on to a $189.4 million domestic run. The key to Ralph's success was obviously its quality, but its fourth weekend, where it only dropped 10.8%, helped it reach its domestic cume.
When it comes to this weekend's Peanuts audience, 70% were families, which could bode well for both Peanuts and Spectre as it's very possible the two films share a portion of their audience, possibly bolstering week-to-week returns.
Internationally, Peanuts scored an estimated $4.5 million from eleven territories, including China where it brought in only $2.7 million. Wreck-It Ralph, by comparison, opened in six territories in 2012 to the tune of $12 million.
RELATED: If you're interested in seeing how the last four animated films performed after opening opposite the last four Bond films click here.
In third place is The Martian, which dropped a mere 20.6% for an estimated $9.3 million in the face of direct competition from Spectre. This puts the sci-fi feature at $197 million domestically as it will be crossing the $200 million mark before next weekend and is now director Ridley Scott's highest grossing domestic release of all-time. Internationally, The Martian added another $9.3 million bringing its worldwide cume to $458.5 million, making it Scott's highest grossing worldwide release as well, topping Gladiator by $1.1 million. The Martian lands in China later this month and Japan in February.
Also holding strong are Goosebumps and Bridge of Spies, both of which are in their fourth weekends and each dropping less than 30% for $6.9 million and $6 million respectively.
Kudos also belongs to Nancy Meyers' The Intern, which has been in the top ten six out of its seven weeks in release. It's worldwide cume is now up to $180 million as it has now grossed more than $108 million internationally.
Dropping all the way to 15th is Universal's Steve Jobs. The film was unable to find any traction after its limited release and this weekend lost 2,072 theaters. Its weekend total from 421 theaters was a mere $823,000. On the plus side, its cume is now up to $16.6 million, which does put it ahead of 2013's Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher before adjusting for inflation.
The weekend's per theater champ was Open Road's Spotlight, which brought in an estimated $302,276 from five theaters for a $60,455 per theater average. Definitely solid numbers and far better than Sony Classics' Truth, which managed a mere $11k when it opened in six theaters in mid-October.
Also opening in limited theaters this weekend was Brooklyn from Fox Searchlight. After opening in five theaters on Wednesday, the highly acclaimed Saoirse Ronan starrer entered the weekend with $56,389 and scored an estimated $181,000 for a $36,200 per theater average.
Additional limited releases include Trumbo, which opened in five theaters and brought in an estimated $77,229 ($15,446 PTA) and Miss You Already, which finished with an estimated $572,160 from 384 theaters ($1,490 PTA).
Continuing its limited roll-out, Focus' Suffragette has been unable to attract much of an audience, which leaves its Oscar hopes in the lurch. Generating an estimated $779,000 from 22 theaters, the film managed a $3,509 per theater average as it hopes to find more luck next weekend, expanding into roughly 450 theaters.
Speaking of next weekend, competing for a place in the top ten will be the Chilean miner drama The 33, the Christmas comedy Love the Coopers and the football drama My All American starring Aaron Eckhart, Robin Tunney and Finn Witrock.
You can get this weekend's complete chart here. It will be updated with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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