Box Office: ‘Spectre’ Tops ‘The Peanuts Movie’ With $73 Million

9 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

James Bond: He’s back (in books) – though he really never left.

Daniel Craig’s fourth turn as the suave spy received weaker reviews in the US than in the UK, where the film has smashed box office records since opening on 26 October.

Now comes “Spectre,” released Nov. 6, the fourth Bond flick to star icy-eyed Daniel Craig and the 25th in the franchise (if you include the 1967 spoof “Casino Real” with Woody Allen). After Fleming’s death in 1964, a much more politically correct Bond came to life in several series by a half-dozen authors, including Kingsley Amis, John Gardner and William Boyd. Now veteran British novelist Anthony Horowitz has written a Bond tale that’s unique in the 007 pastiche, in that it moves Bond not into the uncomfortable (for him) present day but takes him back to the past. The poorly titled “Trigger Mortis” is set shortly after the agent has concluded his near-death experience with Auric Goldfinger (written in 1959, released as the movie “Goldfinger” 1964; Harper, $28, 310 pages). It sees Charlie Brown attempting to encourage the affections of the Little Red-Haired Girl, who has moved in across the street, with a variety of endeavours, and has picked up excellent reviews. “The Peanuts Movie plays as something like a ‘greatest hits’ of the franchise in all its incarnations, from the beloved holiday television specials to those cute-but-not-hilarious greeting cards that seem to arrive with regularity from an infantilising family member,” wrote The Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman. “All the classic moments are there, crammed in as if we might not get another shot at this.

But it’s still a 93-minute movie that somehow feels a half-hour too long.” Last week’s No 1, the enduring Ridley Scott space drama The Martian, slipped off the top spot for the second time – it was also briefly pushed into second place by spooky kids’ movie Goosebumps three weeks ago, but has otherwise remained top since debuting on 2 October – to come in third with another $9.3m in its sixth week of release. The Bond Girl turns out to be American gangster Pussy Galore, reprising her role from “Goldfinger.” The tense car-racing scenes are spot-on (Bond drives a Maserati), but the most harrowing scene involves Bond being buried alive and his near-panicked struggle to literally escape the grave. The Fleming estate allowed Horowitz access to some of the writer’s unpublished works, and parts of Fleming’s “Murder On Wheels” made their way into “Trigger Mortis.” Ian Fleming wrote a number of excellent short stories featuring Commander Bond, among them “Octopussy,” “From a View to a Kill,” “For Your Eyes Only” and “Quantum of Solace.” None of them has anything to do with their film incarnations. The top five was rounded out by Goosebumps, with $6.95m in its fourth week, and Steven Spielberg espionage drama Bridge of Spies, with $6.08m – also in its fourth week. Also timed to the release of “Spectre” are two coffee-table books from DK publishing, “James Bond: 50 Years of Movie Posters,” with text by Hollywood production designer Dennis Gassner ($50, 328 pages); and “Bond By Design: The Art of James Bond Films,” text by Meg Simmonds ($50, 320 pages). “Posters” is a fascinating trip through Bond history, with hundreds of movie posters (many of them in international editions) ranging from the camp (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” with George Lazenby”) to the cool (“Diamonds Are Forever” with Sean Connery).

There were no other new films in this week’s top 10, but the Tom McCarthy drama Spotlight, about the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal, scored well on limited release with $302,276 from five cinemas for a decent average of $60,455 per screen. The Day of the Dead parade that opens “Spectre” was based on models and technical drawings rendered months before the filming, which involved 1,500 extras.

I hate small portions of anything.” That from the writer – Fleming – who gave us Truly Scrumptious, heroine of the 1968 film made from his 1964 children’s book, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

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