Sony/MGM's Quantum Of Solace scored the best launch in James Bond franchise history at the weekend with a thunderous $70.4m that far exceeded predictions and dwarfed the competition.

The result beat the previous franchise record of $47.1m set by Die Another Day in 2002 and combined with 007's continued international domination to propel the global tally past $322m in just over two weeks.

For the record Daniel Craig and Co easily surpassed the $40.8m launch of Casino Royale almost exactly two years ago to the day. Sony/MGM chiefs will have derived much pleasure from the fact that Quantum Of Solace beat the best ever Jason Bourne launch of $69.3m set by The Bourne Ultimatum in August 2007.

According to exit polls the film exits drew a 54% male and 46% female crowd while 58% of the total audience was aged 25 and over.

With no other new titles in the mix, almost every remaining top ten film comedy moved down one place. DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa added $36.1m for $118m and Universal's Role Models grossed $11.7m for $38.1m. Both releases were in their second weekend.

In fourth place Buena Vista's High School Musical 3: Senior Year drew a further $5.9m out of the tween demographic for $84.4m after four while Universal's Changeling in fifth place continued to thrive on excellent word of mouth and added $4.2m for $27.6m after four. The period drama can expect a box office boost in January, when it is likely to figure among the Oscar nominees.

DreamWorks-Paramount's thriller Eagle Eye ranks 12th after eight weeks and continues to inch its way towards $100m on $98.8m.

Fox Searchlight's Slumdog Millionaire will be one to watch as it expands in the coming weeks and launched in 23rd place on an excellent $418,000 from 10 venues.

Samuel Goldwyn Film's Christian drama Fireproof has reached $30m after eight as $1.3m from 905 screens raised the tally to $30.2m.

Meanwhile Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure became one of the fastest giant screen films to hit the $30m since opening on October 5 through National Geographic Cinema Ventures.

Next weekend's wide releases are: Buena Vista's 3D animated family tale Bolt voiced by John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, among others, and Summit Entertainment's vampire romance Twilight with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

Estimated Top 10 North America Nov 14-16, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (-) Quantum Of Solace (Sony/MGM) SPRI $70.4m -
2 (1) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DreamWorks-Paramount) PPI $36.1m $118m
3 (2) Role Models (Universal) UPI $11.7m $38.1m
4 (3) High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $5.9m $84.4m
5 (4) Changeling (Universal) UPI $4.2m $27.6m
6 (5) Zack And Miri Make A Porno (TWC) TWC Int'l $3.2m $26.5m
7 (6) Soul Men (MGM/TWC) $2.43m $9.4m
8 (9) The Secret Life Of Bees (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int'l $2.40m $33.7m
9 (7) Saw V (Lionsgate) Mandate Int'l $1.8m $55.4m
10 (8) The Haunting Of Molly Hartley (Freestyle Releasing) Odd Lot
Int'l $1.6m $12.7m