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'Spectre' stays on top for second weekend
NEW YORK — The box-office duo of James Bond and Charlie Brown again dominated North American movie theaters over the weekend, while Angelina Jolie Pitt's "By the Sea" made barely a ripple.
Sony's "Spectre," the 24th Bond installment and last week's top film, took in $35.4 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Daniel Craig's fourth Bond film has most flexed its muscles abroad, where the majority of its $500 million-plus two-week global haul has come from. It got a boost, too, over the weekend in China, where it debuted with $48 million — the best opening for a 2-D, U.S. release in China, Sony said.
"The Peanuts Movie," from 20th Century Fox, remained in second place with $24.2 million. Both it and "Spectre" held strongly in their second weeks. "The Peanuts Movie" has grossed $82.5 million thus far.
New releases: Of the new releases, the Christmas comedy "Love the Coopers" — a family holiday gathering directed by Jessie Nelson and starring an ensemble including Diane Keaton and Alan Arkin — fared the best. It took in $8.4 million for CBS Films.
Warner Bros.' Chilean miner drama, "The 33," earned a middling $5.8 million. Though the 2010 disaster, which trapped 33 miners underground, riveted the world for 69 days, moviegoers showed little interest in a dramatized version of the event starring Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Universal Pictures considerably scaled back the release of the poorly reviewed "By the Sea," a marital drama starring Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt. Playing in just 10 theaters, it made only $95,440.
The third film directed by Jolie Pitt, who also wrote the script, "By the Sea" was made for a modest $10 million, so it won't hurt Universal much, but proved surprisingly unappealing to moviegoers despite starring two of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Expanding to 60 theaters, Tom McCarthy's acclaimed "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe investigation into Catholic priest sex abuse, pulled in $1.4 million with a per-screen average of $23,307 for Open Road Films.
Tabbed as an Oscar favorite, the film, featuring an ensemble including Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, is stoking interest with a gradual expansion.
Next weekend, Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2," the final chapter in the young-adult saga, is sure to supplant Bond at the top of the box office.
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