The overseas success of Sony's Skyfall certainly translated well in North America. After a $2.2 million opening in large format screens on Thursday, the 23rd official James Bond installment pulled a huge $30.8 million in its wide opening on Friday (including $2.4 million at midnight). That tops the $27 million opening day (including approximately $2.5 million at midnight) of Quantum of Solace four years ago.
Given the strong reviews, word of mouth, and awareness surrounding Skyfall, plus the partially deflated Friday number due to Thursday shows as well as the benefits of IMAX and Veterans Day, 007 stands a chance of coming closer to Casino Royale's 2.77x Friday-to-opening weekend multiplier than Quantum's 2.5x. For now, we're projecting an $82 million opening weekend (for a total of $84.2 million including Thursday).
Debuting in 11 theaters this weekend, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln lived up to the early hype so far with an estimated $268k Friday opening, an average of a whopping $24,376 per theater. We're currently projecting a $950k weekend. With strong reviews and a heavy marketing campaign, this bodes well for the flick's wide expansion next weekend.
Last week's number one movie, Wreck-It Ralph, held on well as it remains the only new film in competition for family audiences. Great word of mouth helped carry it to another $7.84 million on Friday. We're projecting an excellent 36 percent drop to $31.5 million for its sophomore frame.
The other well-received opener from last week, Flight, also posted an impressive hold in the face of the competition for adult audiences that the Bond flick provided it. Never count out Denzel, though. Flight amassed $4.25 million on Friday and is on pace for a $15 million second weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.