"Skyfall" scored $30.8 million Friday, shooting a needed adrenaline injection into the fall box office after a disappointing summer. And Bond 23 has already earned some $350 million in its first two weeks internationally. Judging from Friday numbers, the US/Canada gross continues a consistent trend for the Bond series going back to "GoldenEye" in 1995: each new entry outperforms the previous one.
The gross represents a slight increase in ticket buyers over 2008's "Quantum of Solace" (factoring in ticket price inflation) and so far doesn't appear, strong as the number is, to be quite as big a jump as the international numbers have been so far. Next week's "Twilight" finale will also push a resurgent fall season.
"Skyfall" accounted for around 63% of the gross of the top 10 films on a day with less than 30% uptick from last week despite the huge figure for the #1 film. The top four films from last Friday - three of which ("Wreck-It Ralph," "Flight," "Argo") boast signs of strong positive audience reaction - fell a combined 50% from last week. The rest of the weekend should see some improvement (particularly for the matinee-oriented "Ralph"), but these figures suggest that the audience, especially for adult-oriented films, is not unlimited.
Not to be overlooked is the strong opening day for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," which grossed $268,000 in 11 theaters for an impressive per screen average of $24,364. One day won't determine if this propels this acclaimed historical drama into anywhere near normal Spielberg performance, but it does mean initially strong reviews have grabbed attention at the high end of expectations.
The Friday Top Ten:
1. Skyfall (Sony)/ NEW - $30.8 million
2. Wreck-It Ralph (Buena Vista)/ Week 2 - $7.8 million
3. Flight (Paramount)/Week 2 - $4.3 million
4. Argo (Warner Brothers)/Week 5 - $1.8 million
5. Taken (20th Century-Fox)/Week 6 - $1.2 million
6. Pitch Perfect (Universal)/Week 7 - $.8 million
7. The Man With the Iron Fists (Universal)/Week 2 - $.7 million
8. Cloud Atlas (Warner Brothers)/Week 3 - $.7 million
9. Here Comes the Boom (Sony)/Week 5 - $.7 million
10. Paranormal Activity 4 (Paramount)/Week 3 - $.6 million