Worldwide Smash 'Spectre' First for Second Straight Weekend at U.S. Box Office

James Bond had another smashing weekend at the box office, stateside and internationally, pulling in $35.4 million from American audiences and retaining first-place for the second straight week since making its U.S. release. Worldwide, director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig's latest "Bond" installment has now raked in nearly $550 million, according to Variety, with a domestic total that has reached $130.7 million.

Ticket sales saw a 49% decline from last weekend's $73 million opening, which itself was down 21% compared to the 2012 opening of "Skyfall," but the film still finished a healthy margin ahead of second place finisher "The Peanuts Movie," which earned $24.2 million, also in its second week. With a reported budget of $250 million, and a international marketing budget that may match, "Spectre" has proven to be a worldwide phenomenon. It made $48 million the weekend of its Chinese premiere.

"The Martian" came in fourth over this weekend with $6.7 million, pulling its domestic gross to $207.4 million after seven weeks in theaters, and "Spotlight" continued to thrive in limited release.

"Spectre" pits Craig's Bond against Christoph Waltz as the head of a nefarious organization deeply tied to many of 007's most fearsome foes. Joined by Bond's latest feminine liaisons, played by Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci, the feature may be the final to come from the acclaimed pairing of Craig and director Sam Mendes. Mendes has indicated that he will not be back, and there has been heavy speculation about who might play the storied character next.

Bond may be facing the greatest challenger in his history next weekend, when Katniss Everdeen comes to town.

Jennifer Lawrence's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2" hits theaters Friday, November 20, in what is widely expected to be a winning weekend. The realistic question is not whether "Spectre" will fall next weekend, but by how much.

A last stand for 007? Probably not. For 50 years, no matter who was behind the camera or in front of it, the odds have remained ever in Bond's favor.

Samuel L Jackson Reveals His Favorite Avenger

More in Movies