Skyfall Soars To Die Another Day - Week 2 | Skyfall | Wreck-It Ralph | Flight

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Skyfall Soars To Die Another Day - Week 2

Wreck-It Ralph
The Man with the Iron Fists
It was Double-Oh Heaven this weekend for James Bond. Striking like a Thunderball, Skyfall scared The Living Daylights out of the competition by opening with a $87.8 million debut ($90.6 million if you include the extra Thursday IMAX-only day). That View to a Kill was the highest debut ever for Her Majesty's Secret Service. Making over $20 million more than Quantum of Solcace, it just went to show The World is Not Enough for this franchise. Perhaps Diamonds aren't the only thing that's Forever.

Skyfall's success is fairly remarkable considering the long history of Bond films. They've usually appealed most to boys and grown-men who still act like boys (present author included). They've usually lived on the fringe of mainstream. Everyone knows about them but everyone doesn't obsess about them. Too sexist for women and too goofball for high-brow, James Bond often felt like a comic book character on film... and pre-21st century, that wasn't considered a good thing. Now that the geeks have truly inherited the earth and turned super heroes into the Greek gods of our day, comic book characters are accepted as having pathos and purpose... all while wearing spandex!

These days, it's not silly to think a billionaire who feels guilty about his wealth wouldn't want to do more than just amp up his philanthropic efforts. It makes much more sense for him to create a robot suit and fight crime. Well, unless you think of Bill Gates as being that guy. He should probably just stick to his amped up philanthropic efforts.

I must confess, though, as I'm not usually right about a lot of things, I felt really good when I saw Skyfall's total for the weekend. I'm the same person who swore Michelle Branch would save rock 'n' roll after her back-to-back hits of "Everywhere" and "All You Wanted," asked "Hey, is that the new Usher song?" after first hearing Elliot Yamin's "Wait For You," and just knew Coldplay was a fad and Travis was the real Brit Pop band that would inherit U2's mantle of arena rock. All this, and yet, I called the "If Skyfall, enriched in the 50th Anniversary hype, opens a third higher than the previous Bond film, just like Die Another Day did during the 40th Anniversary hype, it'll make around $90 million this weekend" card. Sometimes, it's like I know things. Sadly, it's always only about stupid stuff like this.

Last week's films were shaken but surprisingly not stirred by Commander Bond's arrival.

Wreck-It Ralph got an extra life and dipped only 33% in its second weekend making $33 million. The video game version of Toy Story has now stacked enough quarters for a $93.6 million total. If only the exchange rate was the same when I was a kid. That's when an American dollar could get you five Canadian quarters. Best arcade time ever!

Flight also stayed in the air by falling an extremely acceptable 40% as it's in-flight service provided $14.8 million to its $47.5 million itinerary. Adults didn't cancel their reservations just because Bond landed at the other terminal, which only points to the credibility and drawing power of Denzel Washington. Besides, with a reported budget of $31 million (which seems shockingly low to me given the cast and director), it's the first film of the holiday season to at least surpass its cost at the box-office. Well played, Paramount. Hopefully, this will relieve the sting of paying $65 million to make The Dictator and $40 million to not have Eddie Murphy speak in A Thousand Words.

The movie with the smallest budget in the Holiday Movie Pool so far, at $15 million, still has yet to reach that sum. The Man with The Iron Fists corroded in its second weekend collapsing 67%. With a $2.6 million tally, it's 10-day total is a leaden $12.8 million. Seems like Lucy Lui picked the perfect time to play the "Get me on a TV show" card and don't be surprised if we don't Russell Crowe on some NCIS: Sydney show soon, or he might be The Walking Dead.

[For those new to the pool, a film normally drops about 40% from weekend to weekend. So, when a film drops by less than that (usually due to positive word-of-mouth), it's seen as a good thing and if a film drops by more (usually due to negative word-of-mouth), it's seen as not so good. The caveat for "blockbuster" films is that they tend to frontload and get so many people in the first weekend that they naturally have larger drop-offs. With this is mind, a 50% fall would still be grand, but anything more is a sign that the film will be coming to DVD sooner than you might think.]

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. Wreck-It Ralph - $93.6 million
#2. Skyfall - $90.6 million
#3. Flight - $47.5 million
#4. The Man with the Iron Fists - $12.8 million
#5. n/a

by Matt Neuenburg on 11/12/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Flight, Skyfall, The Man with the Iron Fists, Wreck-It Ralph
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