As expected, Skyfall set a new opening day record for a Bond movie on Friday with a very strong $30.8 million. That's the fifth-highest debut of the year, and best since July's The Dark Knight Rises. Add in IMAX and large-format grosses from Thursday and Skyfall is already at $33 million.
Skyfall's opening was a bit of an improvement over Daniel Craig's last outing as 007, Quantum of Solace, which earned $27 million on its first day in 2008. It's also more than double Casino Royale's $14.7 million debut in 2006.
The 23rd Bond adventure received a strong "A" CinemaScore, suggesting word-of-mouth could drive better-than-anticipated business for the remainder of the weekend. Sony is currently projecting high-$70 millions; using recent Bond movies as a comparison, Skyfall could wind up as high as $90 million through Sunday.
In second place, Wreck-It Ralph fell 42 percent to an estimated $7.84 million. That's not a great hold for an animated movie, especially one that's garnered good reactions from audiences so far. For example, that decline is a bit worse than Megamind's 38 percent at the same point in 2010. Through eight days, Ralph has earned $68.5 million, which is a tad higher than Megamind's $67.5 million.
Flight dropped 48 percent to an estimated $4.25 million on its second Friday. The Denzel Washington drama was likely hurt by Skyfall's entrance to the market, though that somewhat-steep decline suggests the actual word-of-mouth isn't as great as the movie's "A-" CinemaScore suggested. Flight has now earned $36.9 million, and will be at around $45 million by the end of the weekend.
At the start of its fifth weekend, Argo dipped 39 percent to an estimated $1.84 million. Through 29 days in theaters, the Iranian hostage crisis thriller has bagged $80.8 million, and is on its way to at least $100 million by the end of its run.
In fifth place, Taken 2 eased 35 percent to an estimated $1.18 million. With a $128.5 million total, it is remarkably still $15 million ahead of its predecessor.
The Man with the Iron Fists got crushed yesterday: the kung fu flick plummeted 76 percent to an estimated $739,000. Through eight days, RZA's pet project has earned just $11 million, and will be lucky to close north of $20 million.
At just 11 locations, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln grossed an estimated $268,000. That translates to a very impressive $24,364 per-theater average. For the weekend, it should wind up with around $750,000 and just barely miss the Top 12.