Charlie Brown didn't beat James Bond, but he didn't exactly lose to him, either.
"Spectre" topped the box office in its opening weekend, according to Variety, hauling in $73 million to beat out "The Peanuts Movie," the Fox adaptation of the beloved Charles M. Shulz comic strip, which came in second with its $45 million opening.
While it was considered a success for both franchises, it might have been a bigger win for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang, as their family-friendly, animated re-introduction to audiences made back nearly half of its reported $100 million budget.
Daniel Craig's fourth turn as 007 was good for first place over the weekend, but only second in franchise history, showing some slippage from the $88.4 million opening of 2012's "Skyfall." Though "Spectre" made an impressive $200 million worldwide in its second week of international release, good for a grand box office total of over $300 million, industry speculation indicates that the feature, which looks to be the final from director Sam Mendes, may need to generate an astounding $650 million to break even, after accounting for marketing costs. Not that Bond doesn't embrace a challenge.
The pair of films knocked "The Martian" off the perch it held atop the box office for four of the five weeks prior, as the Ridley Scott–Matt Damon project brought in $9.3 million, per Variety, good for third at the box office and bringing its total to $197.1 million. $7 million for "Goosebumps" and $6.1 million for "Bridge of Spies" gave them fourth and fifth place, and, in a limited release, "Spotlight," the Open Road drama about the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning reportage of the Catholic Church abuse scandal, made $302,276 in only five theaters, a promising showing.
The strong start means that Charlie Brown and friends will probably get a sequel, and another shot at kicking that box office football. Indications are that "Spectre" will be Daniel Craig's last time playing the famed superspy, and the franchise may change distribution partners. So sure, Bond's exploits won the day, but after already losing the viral war, he did precious little to neutralize the threat of The Red Baron.