Bond is (finally) back, and he’s taken the box office deservedly by storm with the record-breaking debut of Skyfall. It was the top film of another exceptional weekend at the box office, 28.2% higher from where it was last year. Elsewhere, Lincoln had an enormous debut at 11 theaters with an $81,818 per theater average (third best this year behind The Master and Moonrise Kingdom).
Box Office Estimates
November 9-11, 2012
1) Skyfall (Opening)
WEEKEND: $87.8 million | TOTAL: $90 million
The latest James Bond film has already been a monumental hit overseas, much thanks to its global focus on action. It’d be ludicrous not to expect such a massive debut on our side of the pond as well. Skyfall easily boasts the largest opening weekend take of the long running franchise, rewarding the years of production hell that got the film made just as the fans felt rewarded for their patience with a film that surpassed their expectations. Given Quantum of Solace is the highest grossing 007 film at merely $168.4 million, the critically acclaimed hit should go some ways towards doubling that mark domestically, especially considering the lack of any other action tentpole until The Hobbit hits in a month.
2) Wreck-It Ralph (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $33.1 million | TOTAL: $93.7 million
Another recent release that is breaking brand records, Wreck-It Ralph already gave Disney Animation Studios its biggest debut to date, putting it on pace to surpass Tangled as their most successful CG effort. It dipped only 32.6% from last weekend, holding on to family audiences who weren’t taking part in some traditional father-son Bonding. Positive word-of-mouth, the holiday season, and a surging Oscar campaign as Best Animated Feature frontrunner are just a few reasons this film has a long life ahead of it.
3) Flight (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $15.1 million | TOTAL: $47.8 million
Remember back in the day when Robert Zemeckis films like Cast Away and Forrest Gump would debut under $30 million and then go on to surge above $200 million. Twas a different age I suppose, before Zemeckis took an interest in a little thing called performance capture. The way things are these days and how Flight is progressing, I’d expect the latest Zemeckis to land around $100 million, but that’s no sad statement at all given the film’s below 2000 theater rollout, outstanding per theater average success, and almost certain Oscar potential for lead Denzel Washington. Nobody said coming back was easy, but Zetmeckis could do a whole lot worst than Flight.
4) Argo (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $6.7 million | TOTAL: $85.7 million
At 33.9%, Argo took its biggest fall to date this weekend, the reason likely being that it’s taken up the action-thriller slot that Skyfall now occupies. All that said, I think it’s ludicrous to expect the biggest critical and audience hit of the season to just disappear now that the heat is turning up. There are plenty who are only just discovering Ben Affleck’s escape thriller, retaining its appeal throughout the season and feeding it towards a spectacular ending gross.
5) Taken 2 (6th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4 million | TOTAL: $131.3 million
And with that the critically maligned sequel to action phenomenon Taken is now only $13.7 million away from reaching the amount its predecessor took in. In slightly diminishing returns both critically and financially, I think we now have the Hangover of action franchises.
6) Here Comes the Boom (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $2.6 million | TOTAL: $39.1 million
We may have been trained to expect the worst from Kevin James, but let’s give his latest film the benefit of the doubt, since I assume nobody here at Film Misery has seen Here Comes the Boom. Yes, it’s a typically broad comedy and there’s no reason to believe there’s much genius on that side. On the other hand, James’ character is getting beaten up every night to pay for arts education at his school. There are worse morals for an obvious comedy to take itself up in, so the mild success of this film is a deserved pat on the shoulder for the struggling comic actor.
7) Cloud Atlas (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $2.5 million | TOTAL: $22.7 million
Good news/bad news time? Well as for the latter, Cloud Atlas is set to be the weakest film at the box office from co-directors Andy and Lana Wachowski since their 1996 debut Bound. The good news? It’s set to be co-director Tom Tykwer’s highest grossing feature, now less than $3 million away from surpassing his previous film, The International. Faux-positivity aside, the $102 million budget of this massive independent production likely won’t be a third reimbursed. Not a bad time to get started on a kickstarter campaign, right?
8) Pitch Perfect (7th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $2.5 million | TOTAL: $59 million
The smallest dip of the weekend goes to this October mini-champion, falling just 18.3% to bring its total just $1 million shy of an even $60 million, which it will inevitably surpass. From an outstanding limited debut to a smooth ride throughout the rest of the month, the year’s brightest and best musical (in my opinion) had pretty stellar run.
9) The Man With the Iron Fists (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $2.5 million | TOTAL: $12.7 million
You can spot RZA’s directorial debut as a future cult classic from a mile away. Full force, Hard-R samurai action flick produced by Quentin Tarantino and directed by a rap star? It’s the kind of film best seen on a late Saturday night, so its intended audience is understandably limited. That said, given its $15 million budget and late night cable nature, don’t go shedding those tears for RZA too quickly. The man still has a music career that more than pays the bills, and his artistic endeavor has a cult longevity to look forward to.
10) Hotel Transylvania (7th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $2.4 million | TOTAL: $140.9 million
Just in time for what is likely the film’s last week on the charts, Sony Pictures Animation has given the go-ahead for a sequel to the Halloween-themed Sandler-Samberg kids flick to be released in September 2015. And that, children, is how moneygrubbing studio cash-grabs are created! To be fair, it’s not yet a mean-spirited corporate effort yet, but we’ll have to wait and see if this animated franchise is a Shrek or a Madagascar, because let’s face it. It’s no Toy Story.
Box Office estimates are courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Expect The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 to absolutely devour the competition next weekend.
What movies did you see at the theatre this weekend?