Bond soars with record $87.8M 'Skyfall' debut

Associated Press Modified: November 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm •  Published: November 11, 2012
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Still, Craig's Bond is setting a new critical standard for the franchise. While "Quantum of Solace" had a so-so critical reception, "Skyfall" and "Casino Royale" are among the best-reviewed Bond films, with critics and fans enjoying the darker edge Craig has imprinted on 007.

"'Skyfall' is to the Bond franchise what 'The Dark Knight' was to the Batman franchise," said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "By taking it to a whole other level, this is a different kind of Bond that can be taken really seriously."

Directed by Sam Mendes, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker behind "American Beauty" and Craig's director on "Road to Perdition," ''Skyfall" continues the current franchise's exploration into the emotional traumas that have shaped Bond's cool, aloof manner.

The film reveals secrets out of the past of Bond's boss, British spymaster M (Judi Dench), and pits 007 against a brilliant but unstable former agent (Javier Bardem) who's out for revenge.

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 for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

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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Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "Skyfall," $89 million.

2. "Argo," $12 million.

3. "Wreck-It Ralph," $11.2 million.

4. "Hotel Transylvania," $11.1 million.

5. "A Werewolf Boy," $10.5 million.

6. "Cloud Atlas," $8.7 million.

7. "Paranormal Activity 4," $6 million.

8 (tie). "Asterlix and Obelix: God Save Britannia," $4.4 million.

8 (tie). "Confession of Murder," $4.4 million.

10. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," $4.1 million.

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Online:

http://www.hollywood.com

http://www.rentrak.com

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.