James Bond and Snoopy Equal Spectre-acular Box Office
By John Hamann
November 8, 2015
Over the weekend, Spectre earned $73 million from 3,929 venues, an extremely solid, second-best showing for the long-standing franchise. Sony, MGM and all of their partners have another reason to celebrate, as Spectre should earn between 3.5 and 4 times the amount weekend amount, which should push the domestic gross beyond $250 million.
While the weekend result for Spectre is fantastic, my mind can’t leave the fact that they spent $260 million on a James Bond flick. Jurassic World was made for $100 million less than Spectre, and the Bond budget was $10 million more than it was for Avengers: Age of Ultron. A story in Variety this weekend claimed that Spectre would need $650 million worldwide to earn a profit, but I think even that number is low. I believe that Spectre will need $750 million worldwide to get to theatrical profit, given that two-thirds of the worldwide gross is going to come from markets outside of America, where dollar valuations and theatrical splits are different. The marketing was incredible, with the traditional Bond marketing tie-ins working nicely. Overseas last weekend, Spectre got off to a strong $80 million start – most of that from the United Kingdom – but this one is a lock to dominate globally. It opens in China next weekend.
Landing in second is The Peanuts Movie, as Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends return to theaters for the first time in several decades. Gone is the simple, 2-D animated format, which was perfect for television, and replaced with a gorgeous 3D design. Even with the updated look, it still kept up the safe brand of family entertainment that hasn’t changed in half a century.
Still loved after all these years, 20th Century Fox and The Peanuts gang decided to not start with a preview on Thursday and go with the traditional Friday opening. On its first day of release, The Peanuts Movie got the start it wanted, earning a fabulous $12.1 million from Friday alone. That’s just short of the debut of the first Alvin and the Annoying Chipmunks, which had a first Friday of $13.1 million. A better comparison might be Happy Feet, which also opened in November. It had a first Friday of $12.3 million, and turned that into a $41.5 million weekend.
With The Peanuts gang, audiences are going to be very young, which means the multiplier should be higher than family movies that are aimed at older kids (read: adults). Fox would be looking for a significant increase on Saturday, as there were no Thursday preview amounts padding the Friday, and this movie was made for big Saturdays. The second day number came in at $19.6 million, which means Fox got what it needed and now has a significant hit on its hands, as well as a franchise. The weekend take came in at $45 million from 3,897 venues, giving it a venue average of $22,547. The internal weekend multiplier came in at 3.7, which indicates the youth movement showed up for the film. The higher the multiplier, the younger the majority of the audience is.