24th "007" film tops North American box office



"Specter" -- the 24th James Bond movie produced by Eon Productions -- opened with an estimated 73 million U.S. dollars in sales this weekend, according to projections from Sony Pictures.

The Bond thriller had opened last weekend in the United Kingdom, and it was on track to be the second-highest Bond movie ever, in terms of opening records.

Compared to the most recent opening weekend performances of the James Bond franchise, "Specter" opened 17 percent below the 88.4 million dollars start of 2012's "Skyfall" and 8 percent ahead of the 67.5 million dollar opening of 2008's "Quantum of Solace", according to box office tracker Rentrak.

"Specter" received a healthy "A- "rating from first-night moviegoers on CinemaScore. The critics gave it a 63-percent positive rate for watching the film.

In second place, "The Peanuts Movie" was on track for 45 million dollars in opening weekend sales, Fox reported.

"The Peanuts Movie" started out with 12.1 million dollars on Friday, increased a promising 62 percent on Saturday to gross 19.6 million dollars and is estimated to slide 32 percent on Sunday to take in 13.3 million dollars.

"The Peanuts Movie" received a strong "A" rating from audience on CinemaScor and a good 86 percent approval rate from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Third place was held down by "The Martian," which had a 9.3 million dollars weekend and has grossed 197.1 million dollars over six weeks. It places the film 18 percent ahead of the 166.8 million dollars "Interstellar" grossed after 38 days of wide release and 15 percent behind the 231.3 million dollars 38-day take of 2013's "Gravity."

Rounding out the 10 most-popular movies this week also included "Goosebumps" (7 million dollars), "Bridge Of Spies" (6 million), "Hotel Transylvania 2" (3.6 million), "Burnt" (3 million), "The Last Witch Hunter" (2.7 million), "The Intern" (1.8 million) and "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" (1.7 million).