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Weekend Box Office: Skyfall Wins Weekend; Stakes Claim as Best Bond Yet

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By Chris Kavan - 11/11/12 at 11:52 PM CT

It was a good weekend for a certain man who likes Astin Martins, Walther PPKs and Vodka martinis shaken, not stirred. After burning up the international box office, Skyfall had trouble making waves in the domestic market as well. It all added up to a hefty 29% increase for the top 12 films compared to the same weekend last year.

For the 23rd outing for everyone's favorite spy, with Daniel Craig once again reprising his role, Skyfall brought in $87.8 million setting a new franchise record - easily topping the $67.5 million that Quantum of Solace took in. It's also the fourth-best opening out of any film this year, behind The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. It's also the seventh-best November opening behind franchise juggernauts in the Twilight and Harry Potter films. Factoring in Thursday IMAX showings and the total gross sits at $90 million.

For weeks international audiences had been giving the film quite the boost and the buzz on it was reaching stratospheric proportions. For once the buildup matched expectations, earning rave reviews and an A cinemascore from the mostly male (60%) and older (75% over 15) audience. With that kind of response, the film should top out between $200-$250 million.

Last week's top film, Wreck-It Ralph, dropped 33% to wind up in second place with $33.1 million. The animated film has taken in $93.7 million in two weeks. As a comparison, Megamind dropped 37% and stood at $88.8 million through the same period.

Denzel Washington's Flight dropped a spot as well, coming in thrid with $15.1 million, off 39%. That raised its total to $47.8 million, running ahead of Unstoppable, which had $41.9 million through the same period. If Flight can hold out, $100 million isn't out of the question.

Argo likewise dropped on place, coming in fourth place with $6.7 million, dropping 34%. The film's new total stands at $85.7 million - still running ahead of The Town ($80.5 million through the same period) and is still working its way to a total north of $100 million.

Rounding out the top five, Taken 2 retained its fifth place spot, despite direct competition from action fans that Skyfall took away. Taking in $4 million, down 33%, the film has brought in $131.3 million and should wind up pretty close to the original film's $145 million total when it finally winds down.

Also of note is the debut of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Opening in just 11 theaters, it brought in $900,000 (15th place) for a per-theater average of $81.818 - the second-best for any film opening in 10 or more locations (behind Precious) and the third-best per-theater average for any film in 2012 - behind The Master and Moonrise Kingdom. The audience gave it an "A" cinemascore as well - though it ran a bit older (67% over 35) than most films. It will be interesting to see if this translates to mainstream audiences this coming weekend.

Speaking of this coming weekend - besides Lincoln, which should draw in the drama-seeking, older audience, all eyes (tween eyes anyway) will be on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Between these two films, and Skyfall, the box office should once again enjoy a healthy return.

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