Rival studios steered clear of James Bond over the weekend, allowing Quantum of Solace to cash in on the wide open field. The movie took in an estimated $70.4 million in ticket sales, well above experts' estimates of around $50-60 million. And although it drew reviews that were less enthusiastic than those for its predecessor, Casino Royale , it earned nearly $30 million more than the opening for that film. In fact, it was the most ever earned by a 007 movie on an opening weekend, topping the $47 million that Die Another Day earned in 2002. USA Today credited the film's success to the producers' decision to abandon the franchise's "decades-old catchphrases and pithy dialogue in favor of a grittier style." The overall box office was extraordinarily strong as well, with last week's winner, Dreamworks Animation's Madagascar Escape 2 Africa, pulling in a sensational $36.1 million, to bring its 10-day total to $118 million. But as strong as the box-office performances of those two films were, they were like nothing compared with Slumdog Millionaire . The Danny Boyle movie opened with $350,434 in just 10 theaters, for an average of $35,043 per theater -- 72 percent more than the $20,400 per-theater average of Quantum of Solace.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers 1. Quantum of Solace , $70.4 million; 2. Madagascar Escape 2 Africa, $36.1 million; 3. Role Models, $11.7 million; 4. High School Musical 3 Senior Year, $5.9 million; 5. Changeling , $4.2 million; 6 . Zack and Miri Make a Porno , $3.2 million; 7. Soul Men, $2.43 million; 8. The Secret Life of Bees, $2.4 million; 9. Saw V, $1.8 million; 10. The Haunting of Molly Hartley, $1.6 million.