'SPECTRE' Tops the Weekend Box Office as Expected with $70.4 Million


Daniel Craig returns for the fourth time as James Bond in "SPECTRE" (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures).

LOS ANGELES - Sony's James Bond epic "SPECTRE" topped the weekend box office as many analysts expected, tallying $70.4 million or just below the $73 million predicted by the studio.

The movie was well below the $88.4 million earned by "Skyfall" its previous release on its opening weekened in November 2012. Sony, MGM and Eon Productions, which produced the movie, said "SPECTRE" faced more competition than "Skyfall," which had nearly no new releases on its opening.

Following behind 007 was Fox's kid-friendly "The Peanuts Movie" which took in a solid $44.23 million on its opening weekend. It was followed far behind by another Fox film, "The Martian," which earned $9.07 million for a six-week total of $196.84 million. Sony's "Goosebumps" was fourth with $6.80 million for a four-week total of $66.28 million, and by Disney's "Bridge of Spies" in fifth place with $5.84 million for a four-week total of $54.72 million.

The rest of the top 10 stacked up this way:

6. "Hotel Transylvania 2" (Sony) $3.60 million for a seven-week total of $161.35 million

7. "Burnt" (Weinstein Co.) $2.89 million for a two-week total of $10.09 million

8. "The Last Witch Hunter" (Lionsgate/Summit) $2.60 million for a three-week total of $23.52 million

9. "The Intern" (Warner Bros.) $1.74 million for a seven-week total of $71.34 million

10. "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" (Paramount) $1.63 million for a three-week total of $16.27 million.

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