Weekend Box Office: ‘Skyfall’ Scores Best James Bond Opening Ever; ‘Lincoln’ Smashes In Limited Release

Casino Royale” proved to be the highest grossing Bond film of all time with $594 million in receipts worldwide six years ago. And “Skyfall” will beat that record within three week of its domestic bow? After wrecking international crowds with $320 million as of last Wednesday (becoming the biggest Bond in U.K. history), this massive first weekend American gross of $87.8 million bumped “Skyfall” numbers over $500 million today. That’s $518 million in 17 days for the best november debut for a film that’s not a ‘Potter‘ or ‘Twilight‘ film. Not too shabby. Paramount continued its mini-wide release of “Flight,” which registered spectacular numbers in less than 2000 theaters last weekend. Perhaps the thought was to leverage the picture’s possibly-limited appeal with strategic theater placement, as the second weekend dip comes even with the film stretching into 2,047 locations. It’s not a bad hold, and strong Cinemascore ratings and supportive critical notices will likely find it hanging on solidly for more weeks to come. Undoubtedly, Denzel Washington has another solid hit on his hands, particularly with this picture reportedly coming in at a $30 million cost, and as nominations and critics groups start start handing out awards, “Flight” may manage even more legs. “Argo” continues to be a major word-of-mouth hit, holding steady after five weeks. By next weekend it will likely surpass director Ben Affleck’s last picture, “The Town.” Surprisingly not far behind, and completing its unprecedented sixth weekend in the top five is “Taken 2,” which rage-punched its way past the $130 million mark, and is actually beginning to approach the domestic tally of the first picture. A sequel of distinctly lesser quality nearly matching the original picture stateside is rare, though “Taken 2” has already smashed the first film’s tally overseas by a significant margin. Taking a strong third week tumble is “Cloud Atlas,” benefiting from very little mainstream product being released the last couple of weeks. Though there was a complex release scheme for this film through Warner Bros., one more heavily dependent on foreign receipts, there’s no doubt some people are losing money on this experiment, putting into question the bankability of “The Matrix” directors The Wachowski siblings. It only took eleven theaters for “Lincoln” to threaten the top ten, but here we are. Steven Spielberg’s sepia-tinged history lesson nearly cracked the list with a ridiculous $950k, an average of just a little over $86k. Disney isn’t messing around with this one: expect strong results as well when “Lincoln” opens wide next weekend, where its only competition will be some tacky mid-budgeted vampire movie that no one really wants to see anyway.

1. Skyfall (Sony) – $88 million
2. Irresponsible Damage Ralph (Disney) – $31.5 million ($92 mil.)
3. Budweiser Presents: Flight (Paramount) – $15 million ($48 mil.)
4. Argo (Warner Bros.) – $6.7 million ($86 mil.)
5. Taken 2 Tha Streets (Fox) – $4.1 million ($131 mil.)
6. Sky Wiki (Warner Bros.) – $2.7 million ($23 mil.)
7. Here Comes The Boomstick (Sony) – $2.6 million ($39 mil.)
8. Pitch Perfect (Universal) – $2.5 million ($59 mil.)
9. The Movie With The Glass Jaw (Universal) – $2.4 million ($13 mil.)
10. Hotel Transylvania (Sony) – $2.1 million ($140 mil.)

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