James Bond in Skyfall

Bond is back and New York is an Empire state of emergency. That’s the story playing out in this weekend’s box office numbers. From a massive showing for 007 overseas to a lackluster run for Wachowski Starship and their Cloud Atlas, it was an interesting weekend at the movies.

First up, Skyfall. The Daniel Craig led 23rd entry in the James Bond franchise opened in 25 markets internationally, including 007’s home country, grossing an impressive $77.7 million. In the UK alone, it grossed a record-encroaching $32.4 million. Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 had a bigger opening weekend in its UK release. Bond also performed very well in France, Russia, Brazil and Korea ahead of its release here in the United States, which is still more than a week away. We’ll know the weekend of Nov. 9 whether or not Skyfall can take the crown of top Bond release from Quantum of Solace, which opened to $67 million in 2008 and finished domestically at $168 million, both high marks for the franchise.

Here in the United States, Ben Affleck’s political thriller Argo bounced back to the top of the pack this week with a $12.3 million dollar take, reclaiming the top spot from the sliding Paranormal Activity 4. Even though it ran in almost 400 less theaters than it did last week, it’s week-over-week drop of 24.9% is very impressive when compared to Paranormal Activity‘s 70.1% drop. Clearly the word-of-mouth is strong for Argo, which has earned an A+ CinemaScore grade from audiences.

Among the new releases this weekend, Cloud Atlas finished highest but fell well below the expectations of a $100 million dollar movie from the makers of The Matrix. Even with its star-studded cast led by Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, the ambitious sci-fi epic only delivered $9.4 million worth of ticket sales for Warner Bros., being edged out by the 5 week-old Sony Animated comedy Hotel Transylvania. Sadly, for all the positive reviews from critics, including a glowing review from our Adam Charles and a Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, it was a disappointment for the weekend’s biggest release.

Next week will see another round of challenges for Cloud Atlas and Argo, including the much-marketed animated Disney picture Wreck-It Ralph, the Quentin Tarantino presented Man with the Iron Fists and the Denzel Washington led Flight, all opening in at least 1,800 theaters. They will battle it out for the number one spot for at least one weekend, until Skyfall opens a week later.

What did you see this weekend? 

Source: Box Office Mojo, HitFix

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