“Skyfall” landed with the biggest opening for a Bond movie ever, shaking (but not stirring) up $87.8 million at the domestic box office. The third entry in the series to feature Daniel Craig as 007 had already earned close to $300 million overseas before it hit North American theaters, and with no other films daring to go against it in wide release, the success of “Skyfall” was as assured as James Bond’s skills with weapons and women.
The biggest Bond opening in the franchise’s 50-year history helped push the box office up 29 percent compared to the same time last year. The “Skyfall” debut was #7 on the all-time list and #4 for this year, behind “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Hunger Games.” “Skyfall” still had the biggest Bond opening even when adjusted for ticket price inflation (though to be fair to some of the classic flicks, the latest was playing in 3,505 theaters).
Craig first assumed the tuxedo with “Casino Royale,” which debuted with $40.8 million in 2006. The first truly direct Bond sequel story wise, “Quantum of Solace,” followed two years later with a $67.5 million debut. “Solace” earned $168.3 million domestically during its theatrical run. The biggest Bond of them all, Sean Connery’s “Thunderball,” grossed more than $63 million during its run in 1965, which would be more than $500 million when adjusted for inflation, according to Hollywood.com. Demand was so high for “Thunderball” that some theaters stayed open 24 hours for round-the-clock screenings.
Last weekend’s #1 movie, “Wreck-It-Ralph,” had to settle for #2 but still managed an impressive number. The well-reviewed Disney animation flick that blends video game nostalgia with family-friendly sentiment made another $33.1 million for a two-week total of $93.7 million. “Skyfall” and “Ralph” will soon join “Hotel Transylvania” and “Taken 2″ on the growing list of fall films to have already crossed the $100 million mark domestically.
Denzel Washington’s “Flight” was #3 with $15.1 million for a $47.8 million two-week total. Ben Affleck’s Oscar-buzz-generating “Argo” was #4 with $6.7 million. Affleck’s third directorial outing has made $87.1 million in five weeks. Also generating Oscar buzz is Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which opened in limited release. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as America’s 16th president in a story about the passage of the 13th Amendment, the film made $900,000 in just 11 theaters.
What did you think of “Skyfall”? Will it go down in history among the best Bond films? Leave your comment below!