The James Bond franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary in style this weekend, as the 23rd entry in the series, "Skyfall," absolutely crushed the box office, earning a staggering $87.8 million in its debut weekend.
That amount is not only by far the biggest opening ever for a Bond film, easily dwarfing the $67.5 million brought in by 2008's "Quantum of Solace," but combined with vigorous overseas receipts it could already push "Skyfall" over the $500 million mark worldwide.
Considering that it was bolstered by a rare "A" Cinemascore grade from viewers, it's likely that "Skyfall" will also enjoy a long run at the box office, though with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" set to open later this week, it's unlikely "Skyfall" will be able to hold onto first place domestically.
Both films will also face a stiff challenge from Steven Spielberg's historical drama "Lincoln," which opened this weekend in extremely limited release — just eleven theaters — and returned an astounding per screen average of $78 thousand.
Add in strong holds from last weekend's biggest films, "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Flight," and you have a crowded box office that was up over 20% compared to last year's figures.
Here's a look at the full box office chart, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
1. "Skyfall" - $87.8m (our review)
2. "Wreck-It Ralph" - $33m (our review)
3. "Flight" - $15.1m
4. "Argo" - $6.7m (our review)
5. "Taken 2" - $4m (our review)
6. "Here Comes the Boom" - $2.6m (our review)
7. "Cloud Atlas" - $2.5m (our review)
8. "Pitch Perfect" - $2.5m (our review)
9. "The Man with the Iron Fists" - $2.5m (our review)
10. "Hotel Transylvania" - $2.4m (our review)