Quantum Leaps Over Rivals
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.