'Skyfall' sets record for Bond
November 12, 2012 10:45 AM

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 today, 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.

"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.

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 are for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Holly wood.com.

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

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