After dominating the box office overseas for two weeks, the highly anticipated Skyfall landed stateside this weekend. With glowing reviews, would Bond be able to continue that success? The answer, dear readers, is a resounding yes.
I knew Skyfall was going to be big, as the stars seemed to align for it perfectly. Killer reviews, great word of mouth, fantastic box office overseas, a slick trailer and a weekend all to itself. Still, I wasn’t expecting quite this big. Skyfall shattered the record for biggest Bond flick debut, as well the record for largest spy movie (move over, Jason Bourne). 007 opened to a huge $87.8 million, by far the largest debut since The Dark Knight Rises almost four months ago.
After the critically and commercially mediocre Quantum of Solace, I was a tiny bit worried for the Bond franchise, but it sure did come roaring back. Quantum opened significantly higher than Casino Royale ($67 million versus $40 million), but barely outgrossed its predecessor, proving word of mouth wasn’t great. However, word of mouth for Skyfall appears much better, which leads me to believe its legs will be much more akin to Casino than Quantum. $200 million is assured and $250 million is certainly possible.
Last weekend’s champ, Wreck-It Ralph, held well, slipping 33% to $33 million. With $94 million in the bank, its still well short of its $165 million budget, but it should continue to have good legs and pull in solid grosses overseas. Falling a bit hard but still showing good stamina was Flight. The Denzel Washington film dropped 39% to $15.1 million. Its $48 million total already against a modest $31 million budget is very good.
Argo keeps rolling, easing just 34% to $6.8 million. Now with $86 million in the bank and the usual Thanksgiving weekend boost just two weekends away, I think it will inch its way over $100 million, with a possible rerelease in store for Oscar season. Fifth goes to Taken 2, down 32% to $4 million even. Its $131 million total is well ahead of the original’s pace through the same point, although I still think it will end up with a roughly similar gross of around $145 million.
Slipping just 27% to 2.6 million, we have Here Comes the Boom in sixth place. Give the Kevin James flick $39 million through five weekends. Cloud Atlas continues the bad news, dropping 53% to $2.5 million. Just $22.7 million in the bank is awful for a film whose budget must be extraordinary. In eighth, somehow Pitch Perfect re-enters the top ten after finishing eleventh last weekend. It slipped just 18% to 2.5 million. Its $59 million total is very strong.
Falling a dismal 69%, The Man with the Iron Fists pulled in just $2.5 million. Its total is a bit under $13 million, but at least the good news is that its budget was only $15 million. Rounding out the top ten is Hotel Transylvania, which continues to fall harder now that we’re past Halloween. Down 47%, the Adam Sandler flick grossed another $2.4 million, lifting its impressive total up to $141 million.
Like this weekend, next week brings us just one new wide release, although Lincoln does expand into nationwide release after an extremely good performance in limited release. In just 11 theatres, it grossed $900,000, which was good for an astounding $81,818 per theatre average. Expanding to about 1500 theatres next weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lincoln crack the top three. That said, the big story next weekend is the end of one of the most successful franchises of recent years.
Breaking Dawn Part 2: The sky is the limit for the final Twilight flick. There isn’t a whole lot of audience overlap between this and Skyfall, since Twilight skews heavily female while more males turn out for James Bond, who also brings in older moviegoers while hardly anyone over the age of 30 seems to watch Twilight films. That said, there really isn’t anything to prevent Breaking Dawn from being huge. Its reviews and quality are literally absolutely irrelevant. So I’m going to call for an enormous opening weekend of 155 million, to be followed by some of the worst legs we’ve ever seen.