'Skyfall' crosses $950m as 'The Hobbit' fails to beat 007's opening
Skyfall - 17-12-12

The new James Bond film "Skyfall" has crossed the $950m mark at the worldwide box-office this weekend as its march to the once unimaginable but now inevitable $1b total continues.

It also became the 18th highest grossing film of all time this week.

"Skyfall" had resided at #1 at the US box-office for the previous 10 days in the run-up to this weekend despite having been on release for a month and other major films such as "Twilight" and "Lincoln" competing. The tent-pole release of "The Hobbit" on Friday meant it would quickly be moved out of the top spot this weekend.

But Peter Jackson's first of three parts Tolkien adaptation could not beat 007's opening weekend this year as "The Hobbit" only took $84.8m, almost $4m short of "Skyfall"s record.

Despite being released in 500 more screens than "Skyfall" and higher ticket prices for 3D, "The Hobbit"s performance is likely to have been affected by poor reviews and much criticism of its use of the new 48 frames per second digital format. Jackson's film is lingering at 60% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, whilst "Skyfall" is still riding high at 92%.

3D screenings of "The Hobbit' accounted for approximately 50% of its box-office take, so attendance would be considerably lower than "Skyfall" even if it had matched the dollars.

According to estimates, "Skyfall" took $1.8m on Friday (down 40% on the same day last week), $3.1m on Saturday (down 39%) and $2.1m on Sunday (down only 21%) for a total three-day weekend of $7m - beating all industry projections. Final numbers on Monday will confirm whether "Skyfall", "Lincoln" or "Rise of the Guardians" took #2 behind "The Hobbit" as all there movies took around the same estimated totals.

The number of engagements for "Skyfall" fell to 2,924 in its sixth week.

"Skyfall"s US & Canada box office now stands at $272.3m, and looks set to reach $290m domestically by the end of the year.

Update (Monday 17th December 2012): The final box-office figures for the weekend gave "Skyfall" $6,555,732 over the three days, landing (narrowly) behind "Lincoln" ($7.0m) and "Rise of the Guardians" ($7.1m). "The Hobbit" finished up with $84,617,303.

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Earlier Story: Song-writer Paul Epworth talks about Adele and 'Skyfall' award nominations

Later Story: Fifth annual James Bond film festival held in Ottawa next month

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