November 10, 2015
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The new James Bond movie "Spectre" had a softer opening than expected at the North American box office, raking in $70.4 million at the weekend, industry figures showed Monday.
Sony had projected that the 24th film in the spy series -- with Daniel Craig as the dashing secret agent, Italian beauty Monica Bellucci and Oscar-winning Austrian star Christoph Waltz as the villain -- would earn $73 million.
Worldwide, the film has earned some $300 million, with industry experts saying it needs to make $650 million to break even.
The previous instalment of the James Bonds series -- "Skyfall" -- earned $88.4 million when it opened.
"Spectre" faced stiff competition from computer animated 3D cartoon "The Peanuts Movie" -- the first big screen rendering in 35 years for the beloved comic characters -- which sold $44.2 million in tickets to debut in second place, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
Third place went to "The Martian" -- $9 million in ticket sales -- which has generated serious Oscar buzz for lead actor Matt Damon, who plays a NASA scientist accidentally left on the Red Planet.
The movie has earned a whopping $197 million in the six weeks since its release.
"Goosebumps", the family-friendly action-comedy based on a series of books by R.L. Stine, earned $6.8 million for fourth place.
Steven Spielberg's well-received Cold War drama "Bridge of Spies" starring Tom Hanks was in fifth with $5.8 million.
The rest of the top 10 are:
6. "Hotel Transylvania 2" ($3.6 million)
7. "Burnt" ($2.9 million)
8. "The Last Witch Hunter" ($2.6 million )
9. "Crimson Peak" ($1.16 million)
10. "The Intern" ($1.73 million)