Box Office Report: 'Skyfall' Lands in North America, Earns Initial $4.6 Mil

Daniel Craig
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

 "It is very strange — you’ve got no point of reference for something like this. I’ve spoken to Pierce Brosnan, but nobody can warn you. I love the collaborative process of moviemaking. But going out for a cup of coffee? That’s the price you pay," says Craig of living life in fame.

Directed by Sam Mendes, the 23rd installment in the James Bond franchise returns Daniel Craig as 007 for a third time.

MGM and Sony's Skyfall is strong out of the gate in North America, where it earned $2.2 million in Imax runs on Thursday and $2.4 million in nationwide midnight runs that began at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

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The film, directed by Sam Mendes and returning Daniel Craig as 007 for a third time, has done massive business overseas since opening two weeks ago and is expected to post a sizeable domestic opening for Sony, MGM and Eon Productions.

Overseas, Skyfall has already grossed north of $320 million, far oupacing Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale, the last two James Bond pics.

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The movie played exclusively in 463 Imax and other large format theaters on Thursday, and opens everywhere Friday.

"We are off to an amazing start as Skyfall begins its roll out in North America," says one Sony insider, adding that early matinee numbers from Friday are "through the roof, inclincluding exceptional performance from Imax theaters that are now running with their regular schedule.

Skyfall has a good chance of crossing $70 million in its domestic debut. One wild card domestically is more bad weather on the East Coast, already hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

This time out, cinema's most famous spy must save both M -- again played by Judi Dench -- and MI6 from former operative-turned-villain Raoul Silvia, played by Javier Bardem. The movie also stars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Lim Marlohe and Albert Finney.

Skyfall cost roughly $200 million to make after rebates.