James Bond returned to the big screen this weekend and for some, Spectre’s $73 million opening was a bit of a disappointment. That’s because Daniel Craig’s latest outing couldn’t beat predecessor Skyfall, which raked in $88 million during its weekend debut.
On the other hand, Peanuts exceeded expectations by taking in $45 million over the weekend—$5 million above the projected number. Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, attributes that to the film’s relatability to today’s kids. “There is an inherent sweetness that comes with Peanuts and you can see it in the way kids’ faces light up,” he told TheWrap. “They really relate to the problems he faces, like insecurity, and worrying about what people think about him, and he perseveres. That message becomes universal because most of us deal with those issues as adults as well, and I think that’s why it resonated to the degree it did.”
Adapted from the popular comic strip that ran from 1950 to 2000, the family-friendly movie may have taken a chunk out of Spectre’s expected earnings. However, thanks to a strong showing internationally ($120 million), studio executives aren’t too worried about Bond’s performance so far.
“We’re satisfied, particularly when you look at the worldwide number, and know we have a really bright future with this film,” Rory Bruer, Sony’s distribution chief said. “It’s been an incredible journey and we really enjoy working with our partners on these films.”
Regardless of expectations, it's safe to say that this weekend is miles ahead of last weekend's disastrous total box office performance.