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‘Spectre’ and ‘Peanuts’ lure moviegoers after some lean weekends at box office

Daniel Craig plays Agent 007 for the fourth time in "Spectre." The latest film in the James Bond franchise grossed an estimated $28 million in its official U.S. opening on Friday.

Daniel Craig plays Agent 007 for the fourth time in “Spectre.” The latest film in the James Bond franchise grossed an estimated $28 million in its official U.S. opening on Friday.

(Jonathan Ollley / MGM/Columbia Pictures/EON)

New releases featuring old reliables -- James Bond and Charlie Brown and his friends from the “Peanuts” comic strip -- beckoned moviegoers back to cinemas Friday after a lean couple of weekends at the box office.

“Spectre,” starring Daniel Craig as Bond for the fourth time, grossed an estimated $28 million. Combined with $5.25 million from Thursday night previews, the spy adventure, directed by Sam Mendes and playing in 3,929 theaters, appears to have avoided the specter of box-office underperformance.

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The Sony Pictures, MGM and EON Productions release is now expected to take in more than $70 million by this weekend’s end, which would top the $60 million to $65 million Sony had projected, although some predictions had pegged it as a candidate to reach $80 million. It appears that “Spectre” will fall short of “Skyfall” -- also starring Craig -- and its $88-million opening weekend take as the fastest-starting film in the Bond franchise’s 53-year history.

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“The Peanuts Movie” opened Friday in 3,897 theaters, grossing an estimated $12.1 million, according to estimates. The 20th Century Fox release is directed by Steve Martino and is the first full-length feature film based on Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip. “Peanuts” has had successful past iterations on television (“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” among others) and the musical stage (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”).

Another 20th Century Fox release, “The Martian,” was third Friday with $2.6 million in ticket sales as it began its sixth weekend in theaters. That pushed its total U.S. gross to $190.4 million.

Disney’s Cold War drama “Bridge of Spies” took in an estimated $1.8 million Friday, just ahead of Sony’s “Goosebumps,” adapted from R.L. Stine’s books and starring Jack Black, which collected an estimated $1.7 million.

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mike.boehm@latimes.com

Follow @boehmm of the L.A. Times for arts news and features

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‘Spectre’ and ‘Peanuts’ lure moviegoers after some lean weekends at box office

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