Bond soars with record $87.8M 'Skyfall' debut
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, 4:34 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- James Bond's "Skyfall" has extended its worldwide box-office rule to North America, hauling in a franchise-record $87.8 million in its first weekend at U.S. theaters.
Adding in $2.2 million from Thursday night previews at IMAX and other large-format theaters, "Skyfall" has taken in $90 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.
That lifts the worldwide total for "Skyfall" to $518.6 million since it began rolling out overseas in late October. Internationally, the 23rd Bond flick added $89 million this weekend to raise its overseas revenue to $428.6 million.
The third installment starring Daniel Craig as British super-spy Bond, "Skyfall" outdid the $67.5 million U.S. debut of 2008's "Quantum of Solace," the franchise's previous best opening. "Skyfall" more than doubled the $40.8 million debut of Craig's first Bond film, 2006's "Casino Royale."
"Skyfall" already has passed the $407.7 million overseas total for "Quantum of Solace" and by Monday, it will top the $432.2 million international haul for "Casino Royale."
The Craig era has reinvigorated one of Hollywood's most-enduring franchises, whose first big-screen Bond adventure, "Dr. No," debuted 50 years ago.
"It's quite a testament to Bond, considering it's the 50th anniversary. What a great anniversary present," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution at Sony, which produces the Bond films along with MGM.
"Skyfall" was the weekend's only new wide release, but Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" had a huge start in a handful of theaters. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president, "Lincoln" took in $900,000 in 11 theaters for a whopping average of $81,818 a cinema. By comparison, "Skyfall" averaged $25,050 in 3,505 theaters.
"Lincoln" centers on the months leading up to the president's assassination in April 1865, as he maneuvers to pass the 13th amendment abolishing slavery and end the Civil War. Distributor Disney will expand "Lincoln" into nationwide release of about 1,600 theaters Friday and may widen the film further over Thanksgiving week.
The film has strong Academy Awards prospects for two-time directing winner Spielberg, two-time acting recipient Day-Lewis and the rest of the cast, which includes Oscar winners Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.
"The performances are some of the greatest of recent time," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "I don't know if you're ever going to think about it again without seeing our actor as Lincoln. Daniel is extraordinary in the role."
"Skyfall" took over the top spot at the weekend box office from Disney's animated comedy "Wreck-It Ralph," which fell to No. 2 with $33.1 million, raising its domestic total to $93.7 million.
While "Skyfall" marked a new high for Bond's opening-weekend revenue, the film has a long way to go to match the biggest audiences 007 has ever drawn. Adjusted for inflation, Sean Connery's 1965 Bond adventure "Thunderball" would have taken in an estimated $508 million domestically in today's dollars, with its 1964 predecessor "Goldfinger" not far behind at $444 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
The Bond films over the last two decades have come in around the $200 million range domestically in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Still, Craig's Bond is setting a new critical standard for the franchise. While "Quantum of Solace" had a so-so critical reception, "Skyfall" and "Casino Royale" are among the best-reviewed Bond films, with critics and fans enjoying the darker edge Craig has imprinted on 007.
"'Skyfall' is to the Bond franchise what 'The Dark Knight' was to the Batman franchise," said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "By taking it to a whole other level, this is a different kind of Bond that can be taken really seriously."
Directed by Sam Mendes, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker behind "American Beauty" and Craig's director on "Road to Perdition," "Skyfall" continues the current franchise's exploration into the emotional traumas that have shaped Bond's cool, aloof manner.
The film reveals secrets out of the past of Bond's boss, British spymaster M (Judi Dench), and pits 007 against a brilliant but unstable former agent (Javier Bardem) who's out for revenge.
Hollywood remains on a brisk pace this fall as the busy holiday season approaches. Overall domestic revenues totaled $172 million, up 26 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Immortals" led with $32.2 million.
For the year, domestic revenues are at $9.1 billion, up 4.3 percent from 2011's, according to Hollywood.com.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Skyfall," $87.8 million.
2. "Wreck-It Ralph," $33.1 million.
3. "Flight," $15.1 million.
4. "Argo," $6.7 million.
5. "Taken 2," $4 million.
6. "Here Comes the Boom," $2.6 million
7. "Cloud Atlas," $2.53 million.
8. "Pitch Perfect," $2.5 million.
9. "The Man with the Iron Fists," $2.49 million.
10. "Hotel Transylvania," $2.4 million.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Tomlin imposter fuels conspiracy theories
- Fox Chapel hires new superintendent
- Cost of doing business increasing for Pirates
- Penguins’ Crosby nets game-winner in overtime
- Steelers notebook: Team down to third option at key line positions
- Grants aren’t the same old payouts, Corbett says
- Robert Morris cutting 7 sports at end of school year
- Peduto pension plan isn’t valid, fiscal overseer says
- Penguins notebook: Malkin only No. 2 star for November
- Butler County hunter found dead in Cowanshannock
- Pitt rallies to beat Penn State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge