Box Office: ‘Spectre’ Debuts Softer Than Expected, Falls to $70 Million

James Bond packed a little less heat at the box office this weekend.

Spectre,” the 24th film in the long-running spy series, debuted to less than expected, picking up $70.4 million in its initial weekend. Sony, the studio distributing the film, projected an opening of $73 million, but business was softer than anticipated on Sunday.

That figure falls short of the $88.4 million that “Skyfall,” the previous film in the franchise, picked up when it opened in 2012. It ranks as the second highest-grossing opening for a Bond film.

“Skyfall” enjoyed much stronger reviews and less competition. There were no other wide releases the weekend it opened, whereas “Spectre” had to contend with the launch of “The Peanuts Movie.” Globally, “Spectre” has made almost $300 million.

“Spectre” brings back Daniel Craig for a fourth stint as 007 and reunites him with “Skyfall” director Sam Mendes. The hugely expensive film cost $250 million to make and needs to bring in at least $650 million to break even theatrically.

In terms of other Craig films, “Quantum of Solace” kicked off to $67.5 million stateside while “Casino Royale” opened to $40.8 million.

“Spectre” is backed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions.

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