SUNDAY 9 AM, 3RD UPDATESkyfall internationally grossed an estimated $20.3 million this weekend, bringing its overseas total to $656.6M. With the estimated $261.6M from North America, the 23rd James Bond movie has now taken in $918M  worldwide. It’s now the highest grossing film ever released by Sony Pictures, beating Spider-Man 3‘s ($890M). The movie from EON Productions is co-owned domestically by MGM. Sony’s international markets earned an estimated $18.8M to bring the cume to $571.1M. MGM’s distribution partners grossed an estimated $1.6M bring their cume to $85.5M. Australia remained #1 in the market for the 3rd consecutive weekend raising its cume to $33.5M. The UK continues to add to its record-setting total of $154.5M. Earlier in the week, it was announced that Skyfall had smashed the all time box office record in the UK, becoming the highest grossing film of all time in that market and overtaking Avatar for the record. This is truly a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, considering this spy has been on film since 1962. But, domestically, this most successful 007 starrer rose to #1 in Week 5 to knock off Summit Entertainment’s Breaking Dawn Part 2 in Week 4 at the North American box office. “Nothing demonstrates the powerful word of mouth and outstanding playability on this film better than reclaiming the top spot in such a competitive marketplace,” Sony said today. The 23rd James Bond actioner even has a shot of outgrossing domestically the Twilight Saga finale. The Bond pic made $10.8M for the weekend and $261.4M domestic cume through Sunday. Breaking Dawn Part 2 ended up #3 behind DreamWorks Animation’s disappointing Rise Of The Guardians in Week 3.

The only wide release film this weekend is the treacly Millennium’s Playing For Keeps which should have run on Lifetime instead of in 2,837 theaters. FilmDistrict did not produce but only bought the U.S. distribution rights. (Why?) The melodrama debuted to only $2.1M Friday, prompting LA radio host Peter Tilden to snark that box office stars should at least be able to open their movies to numbers higher than their home prices. Ouch! Gerard Butler (not to mention costars Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones) needs to rethink his sinking career with this bomb grossing only $6.1M this weekend for only #6th place. What’s bizarre here is that this pic is from the director of the hugely successful The Pursuit Of Happyness, Gabriele Muccino who was handpicked by Will Smith. But that actor put people in seats unlike Butler whose huge hit 300 was back in 2007. His star turns in The Ugly Truth and Law Abiding Citizen also fared passably though Gamer and P.S. I Love You both tanked. But this new one in far more theaters may only slightly outdo what his October flop Chasing Mavericks did.

Total moviegoing this weekend was about $82.5M, or +9.7% over last year. Here’s the Top Ten based on Friday through Sunday estimates:

1. Skyfall (Eon/MGM/Sony) Week 5 [Runs 3,401] PG13
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $5.0M, Weekend $10.8M, Cume $261.4M

2. Rise Of The Guardian (DWAnim/Par) Week 3 [Runs 3,639] PG
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $4.9M, Weekend $10.4M, Cume $61.8M

3. Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) Week 4 [Runs 3,646] PG13
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $3.9M, Weekend $8.9M, Cume $268.5M

4. Lincoln (DreamWorks/Fox/Disney) Week 5 [Runs 2,014] PG13
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $4.0M, Weekend $8.8M, Cume $97.0M

5. Life Of Pi (Fox) Week 3 [Runs 2,946] PG
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $3.6M, Weekend $8.3M, Cume $60.9M

6. Playing For Keeps (Millennium/FilmDistrict) NEW [Runs 2,837] PG13
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $6.1M


7. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) Week 6 [Runs 2,746] PG
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $2.3M, Weekend $4.8M, Cume $164.4M

8. Red Dawn (MGM/FilmDistrict) Week 3 [Runs 2,754] PG13
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.2M, Cume $37.2M

9. Flight (Paramount) Week 6 [Runs 2,431] R
Friday $910K, Saturday $1.4M, Weekend $3.1M, Cume $86.1M

10. Killing Them Softly (Annapurna/Weinstein) Week 2 [Runs 2,424] R
Friday $881K, Saturday $1.1M, Weekend $2.8M (-58%), Cume $11.8M

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.

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