James Bond and Charlie Brown continue to captivate moviegoers at the North American box office, where Spectre and The Peanuts Movie will stay atop the chart in their second weekend with a projected $34 million and $24 million, respectively.
Both films are holding well. Spectre is estimated to fall 52 percent, a narrow decline for a big event film, and putting its domestic total at nearly $130 million through Sunday. Overseas, the 24th Bond installment opens in China this weekend, as well as France, where Paris theaters closed Saturday afternoon in the wake of Friday's devastating terrorist attacks.
Peanuts Movie is looking at a narrow decline of 45 percent in North America for a domestic total of roughly $82 million through Sunday.
Among new offerings, all eyes are on By the Sea, a moody marital drama teaming Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt, two of the world's biggest movie stars. The Universal release is struggling badly in its limited North American debut after getting skewered by critics. Projections show By the Sea coming in at $132,000 from 10 theaters for a dismal theater average of $13,200.
Comparisons are tough, but George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck posted a location average of $38,313 when it opened in 11 theaters in 2005.
Jolie Pitt wrote and directed the film, in addition to starring. It's the first time she and Pitt have appeared together on the big screen since Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005. While that film was a major commercial play, By the Sea is a throwback to the art house movies of the 1970s. Universal wanted to stay in business with Jolie Pitt after she directed Unbroken for the studio, and readily agreed to a $10 million net budget.
By the Sea is playing in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. It is a highly personal project for for the filmmaker-actress -; she drew from her mother's life in writing the script -; and is the third film she has directed after indie drama In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken.
Among the three new nationwide players, Love the Coopers is faring the best for a projected $8 million-$9 weekend, ahead of expectations. Playing in 2,603 theaters, Jessie Nelson's comedy stars John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde and Alan Arkin, and follows a Christmas Eve celebration turned upside down as four generations of the Cooper clan gather together.
CBS Films, home of comedy Last Vegas, is looking for Love the Coopers to have strong legs throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. The film cost between $17 million and $18 million to make, and is being distributed by Lionsgate via its deal with CBS Films.
The 33, from Alcon Entertainment, is pacing to open in the $5.5 million-$6 million range from 2,452 theaters.
Directed by Patricia Riggen, the movie recounts the 2010 disaster that saw 33 miners trapped inside the San Jose Mine in Chile for two months. The film stars Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips and Mario Casas. Warners is distributing the $26 million film per its distribution and marketing deal with Alcon.
In an unusual twist, the weekend boasts at least three new films directed by women -; By the Sea, Love the Coopers and The 33.
Meanwhile, faith-based offering My All-American may not get to $2 million from 1,565 locations. Written and directed by Angelo Pizzo, the movie is based on the real-life story of college football player Freddie Steinmark, played by Finn Wittrock. The cast also includes Aaron Eckhart, Sarah Bolger and Robin Tunney. Clarius Entertainment is releasing the movie. Tracking suggests it will open in the $2 million to $3 million range.
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