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Box office report: 'Skyfall' has the biggest Bond opening ever with $87.8 million

After four years off of the silver screen, James Bond made his triumphant return this weekend in Skyfall — and the British spy’s appeal was bigger than ever.

The action thriller grossed a truly massive $87.8 million in its first three days (and an additional $2.2 million during Thursday night previews), making its debut the very best in the Bond series’ 23-film history — by a huge margin. Skyfall shattered the previous opening weekend record for a Bond film, which was set in 2008 when Quantum of Solace bowed with $67.5 million. With the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday on the horizon and a straight “A” CinemaScore grade, it’s likely that Skyfall will also become the first Bond movie to ever pass the $200 million mark at the domestic box office. (Of course, this is not accounting for inflation.)  READ FULL STORY

'Skyfall' soars with $30.8 million Friday, headed for best Bond debut ever: Box office update

After 23 movies, the James Bond franchise is still growing, and Skyfall is on pace to clobber the domestic opening weekend record for the spy series.

On Friday, Skyfall rocketed away with $30.8 million (that’s not including the $2.2 million earned in Thursday night previews), which is the highest Friday gross ever for a Bond film. The previous franchise record was set by Quantum of Solace, which earned $27 million on Friday on the way to its $67.5 million opening weekend (also a franchise high). After one day, Skyfall is outperforming Quantum by 14 percent.

If it maintains that pace over Saturday and Sunday, the Daniel Craig feature will finish the weekend with a tremendous $77 million. Positive word-of-mouth could help the movie hold up better than expected, and a debut weekend above $80 million is not out of the question. Either way, Skyfall‘s debut will be the fourth best opening weekend in 2012 behind The Avengers ($207.4 million), The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million), and The Hunger Games ($152.5 million). More importantly, it will be the best in James Bond history. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Wreck-It Ralph' wins with $49.1M; 'Flight' takes off at No. 2; 'Skyfall' scores $156M overseas

Doom may have flopped, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may have been all buzz and no buck, but Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph proved that there is a place for videogame-themed movies at the box office this weekend.

The $165 million animated film topped the chart with $49.1 million out of 3,752 theaters — the strongest debut ever for a Walt Disney Animation production (i.e. not including Pixar titles). Disney’s Tangled opened with a whopping $48.8 million over the more lucrative Thanksgiving weekend in 2010, so Wreck-It Ralph‘s slightly larger bow (and its hefty $13,086 per theater average) should be viewed as a major victory for the Mouse House.

Now the studio is looking ahead not only to Thanksgiving, but Christmas as well, both huge moviegoing seasons since kids are out of school and parents off of work. “There really are few things for families in the time between now and then,” says Dave Hollis, Disney’s Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution (global), who cites DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians and Disney’s own 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. as the only animated competition for the rest of 2012. “[We] have great word-of-mouth and a story that resonates,” Hollis says, “we feel really good about where we’re headed for the rest of this run.”

Disney has every right to feel good. Wreck-It Ralph earned an “A” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, and very positive reactions will help the film hold up even better than a typical family film would anyway. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Wreck-It Ralph' climbs to $13.4 million on Friday; 'Flight' lifts off successfully

November at the movies is off to a very healthy start.

Disney’s new videogame-themed animation Wreck-It Ralph is going for the box office high score. The $165 million family film grossed a strong $13.4 million on Friday, which puts it on pace for a weekend between $45 and $50 million, and more importantly, sets up the film to play well through the lucrative Thanksgiving frame. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Argo' claims No. 1 with $12.4 million; 'Skyfall' scores $77.7 million overseas

Ben Affleck’s C.I.A. thriller Argo is having quite the box office run.

After debuting at number two with $19.5 million, Warner Bros.’ Oscar contender dropped by just 16 percent last weekend to $16.4 million. This weekend, the film notched yet another impressive achievement: it climbed to number one with an estimated $12.4 million (a 25 percent drop) in its third frame, becoming the first film since True Grit to hop to first place in its third weekend.

Argo, which cost $45 million to make, has now earned $60.8 million total, and thanks to terrific word-of-mouth (the film earned an “A+” CinemaScore grade) and early awards buzz, Argo is eyeing a $100 million finish. Though it is running a tad behind Affleck’s last directorial effort, The Town, which had earned $64.1 million at the same point in its run en route to a $92.2 million finish, Argo is enjoying much better week-to-week holds. (The Town, which opened higher Argo with $23.8 million, fell 38 percent to $9.7 million in its third weekend.) READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Argo' climbs to No. 1 with $4 million on Friday as new releases sputter

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Thanks to a weak field of newcomers, Ben Affleck’s Oscar contender Argo led the box office on Friday, the first day of its third weekend.

The Warner Bros. thriller dropped by a slim 21 percent from last Friday, and it now looks headed for about $13 million and its first weekend win, which I predicted heading into the frame. Notably, Sunday show times may be affected by weary East coast ticket buyers who don’t want to venture into the real world on the eve of Frankenstorm, but we’ll have to wait and see if the inclement weather has any real effect. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Paranormal Activity 4' possesses top spot with $30.2 million despite scary underperformance

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First the good news: Paramount’s $5 million found footage horror sequel Paranormal Activity 4 easily led the box office with $30.2 million in its first three days.

Now for the bad news: That’s 43 percent less (i.e. $22.4 million less) than Paranormal Activity 3 earned in its debut frame, and 26 percent less ($10.5 million) than Paranormal Activity 2 managed.

Fortunately for Paramount, the tiny cost of the Paranormal films still make them highly profitable, but the sharp drop off from PA3 to PA4 could spell trouble for the franchise. Paranormal Activity 4, which received a “C” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, has received the worst reviews of any entry in the series, yet Paramount chose to open it earlier than its predecessors. The film was released on Thursday night at 9 p.m. — PA2 and PA3 opened at midnight — and perhaps negative word-of-mouth spread faster and earlier, thus limiting its weekend prospects. Also making matters difficult was direct competition from Sinister, the similarly themed horror title that opened to $18 million last weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Paranormal Activity 4' scares up $15 million on Friday; 'Argo' holds in second

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Paranormal Activity 4 may have led the box office on Friday, but it got off to a much slower start than its two most recent predecessors.

Based on midnight showings (well, technically 9:00 pm showings) alone, it was clear that PA4 was headed for a lower-than expected opening frame. The found footage horror film took in $4.5 million on Thursday night, far less than Paranormal Activity 3, which grossed $8 million at midnight on the way to a $52.6 million debut, and Paranormal Activity 2, which earned $6.3 million at midnight on the way to $40.2 million.

Paranormal Activity 4 grossed an estimated $15.0 million on Friday (that includes Thursday night grosses), and since front-loaded horror sequels typically earn about half of their opening weekends on their first Friday (PA3 earned $26.3 million on Friday; PA2 found $20.1 million), the poorly-reviewed film could be looking at a $30 million weekend. While that’s enough to easily win the weekend — not to mention a terrific start for a film that cost Paramount only $5 million — it’s also a rather distressing figure, which suggests that audiences’ interest in the franchise is quickly waning. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Paranormal Activity 4' will haunt the No. 1 spot

As Halloween approaches, the box office is looking frighteningly good.

After three straight weekends of terrific results (thanks to Hotel Transylvania and Taken 2), Paranormal Activity 4 is entering the fray and eyeing a hefty debut. Tyler Perry thriller (yep, you read that right) Alex Cross will also open, and multiple holdovers are set to finish in the double-digit range.

Basically, it should be a busy frame. Here how it might shake out:

READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Taken 2' nabs No. 1 for second weekend, with 'Argo' a close second

It’s official: Neeson Season has stretched to October.

Liam Neeson’s Taken 2 kicked its way back into the top slot for a second weekend with an estimated $22.5 million, and Ben Affleck’s political thriller Argo and the Ethan Hawke horror flick Sinister were close second and third, respectively. The one-two-three punch helped boost the box office to a fabulous 47 percent gain over the same weekend in 2011, when Real Steel slugged its way to a second No. 1 finish.

While Taken 2 continues to outpace the 2009 original — after 10 days, it’s notched $86.8 million, in comparison to Taken‘s $53.6 million total in the same time frame — it still dropped a hefty 54.6 percent from its astounding $49.5 million opening weekend. At that rate, it’ll be tough (though not impossible) for the film to ultimately best Taken‘s $145 million domestic gross.  READ FULL STORY

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