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Skyfall takes $87.8 million in US to become biggest Bond opener ever


Story by Jack Foley

SKYFALL has taken a massive $87.8 million debut in the US to secure the biggest American opening for a James Bond film of all-time.

With midnight takings included, the 23rd 007 adventure took $90 million across its opening four days so far, thereby bringing its world-wide total to date to $518.6 million.

Daniel Craig’s James Bond is now on course to become the most successful of all-time, having re-invigorated the franchise with Casino Royale‘s $40.8 million in November 2006 and Quantum of Solace‘s previous series-best $67.5 million in mid-November 2008.

And the 007 juggernaut shows no sign of slowing in European markets, where it grossed a further $89 million during the weekend for an international total of $428.6 million.

Skyfall is now certain to surpass the $586.1 million earned by Quantum of Solace and the $594.2 million grossed by Casino Royale in their entire worldwide runs. Skyfall is estimated to have cost about $200 million to make after rebates.

A delighted Rory Bruer, Sony president of worldwide distribution, commented: “It’s been a wild, fantastic ride. The holds have been extraordinary and people will want to see this film again and again.”

The weekend saw robust business thanks to the success of Bond and the continued popularity of a few holdover titles.

Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph continued to perform well in its second weekend, slipping to second spot with $33.1 million for a US total of $93.7 million (the film doesn’t open in the UK until February 2013).

Awards hopeful Flight, starring Denzel Washington, came in third in its second weekend, grossing $15.1 million for a US total of $47.8 million.

And Ben Affleck’s Argo took fourth spot with $6.7 million and an overall US total of $85.7 million. Rounding out the top five, meanwhile, was Liam Neeson actioner Taken 2, which earned a further $4 million for a US total of $131.2 million.

Another awards contender, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in an Oscar-tipped performance as the 16th President of the United States, grossed $900,000 for a location average of $81,818. The film will be rolled out into more cinemas over the coming weeks.

Next story: Michael Arndt to write Star Wars: Episode VII screenplay