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Box office preview: 'Spectre,' 'The Peanuts Movie'

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Stephen Vaughan

After a series of lackluster openings, the October box office went out with a whimper. Halloween marked the worst weekend of the entire year, and the month’s final tally was off 50 percent from October 2014’s grosses. Fortunately, James Bond and Charlie Brown are here to usher in November and inject a little life into the fall movie season.

Both Spectre and The Peanuts Movie are eyeing big openings, and the only question is how high they both will go. Here’s how this weekend’s box office might shape up:

1. Spectre — $75 million

Not only is Spectre going to top this weekend’s box office, but it’s on track to become the second biggest James Bond opening of all time. While Sony is predicting a more conservative opening around $65 million, other box office tracking services are expecting a debut as high as $85 million.

Skyfall, which opened stateside to $88.4 million in November 2012, holds the current record for biggest U.S. Bond opening. It went on to gross $304.4 million, and with more than $1.1 billion in box office receipts worldwide, Skyfall is the 13th biggest movie ever. Quantum of Solace currently holds the second biggest Bond domestic opening with $67.5 million.

Spectre isn’t expected to surpass Skyfall with its domestic opening, and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007 has received mixed reviews with a 62 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to Skyfall’s 93 percent. Still, Spectre did shatter Skyfall’s U.K. record as the best seven-day opening of all time with an estimated $63.8 million. It also set an IMAX record, becoming the first film ever to earn more than $100,000 per IMAX location, so there’s a chance that Spectre could start breaking some records stateside, too.

2. The Peanuts Movie — $45 million

Although Spectre is practically guaranteed to take this weekend’s box office crown, it shouldn’t turn The Peanuts Movie into a great pumpkin. G-rated movies have been extremely scarce this year, and so far in 2015, there have only been two: Disney’s Monkey Kingdom in April, and the limited release A LEGO Brickumentary in July. With an 87 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews have been favorable, and The Peanuts Movie has the added bonus of appealing to both kids and nostalgic adults. Most are expecting a debut in the low to mid $40s, but it could go as high as $50 million.

3. The Martian — $7 million

After spending the last four out of five weekends in first place, The Martian is finally facing some fresh competition. As of Tuesday, The Martian has grossed more than $185.7 million and will soon surpass Gladiator ($187.7 million) to become Ridley Scott’s biggest movie ever. Worldwide, The Martian has made more than $434.5 million. It’s expected to fall about 40 percent for a sixth weekend of $7 million.

4. Goosebumps — $5.9 million

After briefly interrupting The Martian’s No. 1 streak, the family-friendly horror comedy has held steady in second place, earning a domestic total of $58.5 million. So far, it hasn’t faced much in the way of family-friendly competition, and it’s expected to drop at least 40 percent this weekend as The Peanuts Movie opens.

5. Bridge of Spies — $5.5 million

Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies has held up extremely well, falling only 26 percent in its second and third weekend, and its box office has now reached $47.4 million. The Tom Hanks-starring Cold War drama should fall about 35 percent for a fourth weekend of about $5.5 million. 

Outside of the top five, the specialty box office will see the opening of three new limited releases: Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Brooklyn, starring Saiorse Ronan as an Irish immigrant in 1950s New York, and Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter.