Sam Mendes’ James Bond pic Skyfall easily seduced the North American box office with a potent $87.8 million debut, bringing its worldwide cume to $500 million or more in only two weeks of play.

Skyfall earned another $2.2 million in exclusive Thursday runs in Imax and other large-format theaters, bringing its four-day domestic total to $90 million.

Returning Daniel Craig in the role of 007 for a third time, MGM and Sony’s Skyfall nabbed the top opening for a James Bond pic, not accounting for inflation.

Quantum of Solace debuted to $67.5 million in mid-November 2008, a series best, while Casino Royale – marking Craig’s first turn as 007 — opened to $40.8 million in November 2006.

Box office revenues were up an impressive 25 percent over the same weekend a year ago thanks to Skyfall and a strong crop of holdovers, including Wreck-It Ralph, Flight, Argo and Taken 2.

Produced by Bond house EON Productions, Skyfall’s domestic opening was buoyed by an A CinemaScore and stellar reviews. The film skewed older, with 75 percent of the audience over the age of 25. Males made up 60 percent of those buying tickets.

Skyfall is doing massive business overseas, where its cume was roughly $350 million going into the weekend. Weekend numbers weren’t immediately available.

The 23rd installment in the Bond franchise is virtually assured of surpassing the $586.1 million earned by Quantum of Solace and the $594.2 million grossed by Casino Royale in their entire worldwide runs.

This time out, cinema’s most famous spy must save both M — again played by Judi Dench – and MI6 from former operative-turned-villain Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem. The movie also stars¬†Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Lim Marlohe and Albert Finney.

Skyfall cost roughly $200 million to make after rebates.

Opening in only 11 cities before it expands nationwide on Nov. 16,¬†Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln likewise earned an A CinemaScore and strong reviews. The DreamWorks film is distributed domestically by Disney.

Lincoln – starring Daniel Day Lewis in the title role — grossed $900,000 for a pleasing location average of $88,818. That’s roughly in line with the $88,863 grossed by The King’s Speech in its opening weekend, although that film debuted in just four theaters. Black Swan debuted in 18 theaters, posting a screen average of $80,212.

Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph continued to be a box office hit, falling a narrow 33 percent in its second outing to come in No. 2 for the weekend behind Skyfall, grossing $33.1 million for a domestic cume of $93.7 million. The 3D toon earned another $11.2 million overseas for a global total of $120 million.

Paramount’s awards hopeful Flight, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Denzel Washington, came in No. 3 in its second weekend, grossing a pleasing $15.1 million for a domestic total of $47.8 million.

Ben Affleck’s Argo stayed high up on the chart, grossing $6.7 million to place No. 4. The Warner Bros. pic has earned $85.7 million domestically.

Taken 2, from 20th Century Fox and EuropaCorp, placed No. 5, earning $4 million for a domestic total of $131.2 million.

And some say the Bond Franchise was dead! Make sure and connect with me on my facebook page by clicking here.

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November 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Kevin Machado, On Air | No comment