It should come as no surprise that Skyfall (read our review), the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise, opened at number 1 this weekend with $87 million. Though worldwide grosses had already suggested Skyfall was poised for big box office success in the states, it wasn't expected to be this big. After MGM's filing for bankruptcy, Bond's future was up in the air, but thankfully things worked out and 007 is back.
Not only does Skyfall's opening weekend rank at the top for star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes, but it is also the best opening for the James Bond franchise - without adjusting for inflation, of course. It's a good thing Daniel Craig signed on for (at least) two more Bonds, because clearly audiences will want more after Skyfall.
The animated film Wreck-It Ralph comes in at number 2 with a very respectable second weekend gross of $33 million. The Disney Animation Studios film is now at $93 million in total domestic grosses, but still has a way to go before reaching its $165 million budget. There's also a steep hill to climb if Ralph wants to catch Disney Animation's highest grossing film, Tangled, which it could conceivably do if it continues posting solid weekend numbers.
Robert Zemeckis' return to live-action directing, Flight, is this weekend's number 3 film with $15 million. The film, which features Denzel Washington as a heroic pilot with a drinking problem, is now up to $47 million in domestic grosses. Thankfully, Zemeckis was much more restrained in his use of CGI effects than he has been with previous all CGI films, which kept the film to a modest $31 million budget and will help it generate more profit.
Argo comes in at number 4 this week with $6 million. We're starting to sound like a broken record, singing the praises of this Ben Affleck-directed drama, and we're likely to continue doing so as the film continues to hold its place in the top 5 and doesn't show any signs of letting up. The film - now in its fifth weekend of release - has generated $85 million in domestic grosses.
Rounding out the top 5 this weekend is Taken 2 with $4 million. Considering Skyfall occupies a very similar genre, it was going to be tough for the Liam Neeson film to entice audiences, but nevertheless it was able to retain its number 5 spot, and is now up to $131 million in domestic grosses. The film is also inching closer to Taken 1's $145 million total, but it's not quite there yet.
From here things get a bit tricky as films 6 through 10 all earned an estimated $2 million, so be prepared for a potential complete rearrangement when finalized numbers come in.
As a result of this close race, Here Comes the Boom is currently this weekend's number 6 film with $2.55 million, up three spots from last week. Boom has now raked in $39 million in domestic grosses, which is extremely impressive considering it opened at number 5.
Cloud Atlas is this weekend's number 7 film with $2.52 million. Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings' adaptation of David Mitchell's novel had critics buzzing, but unfortunately its unconventional story clearly couldn't entice enough moviegoers. The film has only generated $22 million in domestic grosses to date.
Coming in at number 8 this weekend is Pitch Perfect, Universal's unconventional a capella comedy, with $2.50 million. Like Here Comes the Boom, the film jumped up several spots (last week it did not rank in the top 10) and is now at $59 million in domestic grosses.
This weekend's number 9 film is The Man with the Iron Fists with $2.49 million. Though the film had some intriguing genre appeal, a lack of star power (aside from Russell Crowe) and an unproven director in RZA seemingly hurt its box office chances. Thankfully, the film's $12 million in total domestic grosses (over two weeks) is only slightly under its $15 million budget.
And rounding out the top 10 this week is Hotel Transylvania with $2.35 million, which brings its total to-date up to $140 million. The Adam Sandler-voiced animated comedy has had a solid run over seven weeks, and refuses to give up its place on the top 10, and if its competition continues to flounder, it might still be around this time next week.
In other box office news, Steven Spielberg's historical biopic Lincoln (read our review) opened on only 11 screens but was able to accumulate $900,000 for a per-screen average of $81,818. Lincoln doesn't officially open until next weekend, but these numbers suggest the film's long gestation period was worth it.
Source: Box Office Mojo