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Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall.

The new James Bond movie Skyfall swept North American box offices this weekend, crushing second-place animated feature Wreck-It Ralph, industry estimates showed on Sunday.

The 23rd episode of the spy thriller series - and the third starring Daniel Craig in the lead role - took in $87.8 million in its first weekend of release, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Wreck-It Ralph, the animated Disney film about a video game villain with dreams of becoming a hero, garnered $33.1 million, dropping from the top spot it held last week.

Flight, starring Denzel Washington as a troubled pilot who crash-lands a plane and becomes a national hero, only to have his alcohol and drug problems made public, was third at $15.1 million.

In fourth place was Argo, based on a true story about six Americans spirited out of Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis; the film directed by and starring Ben Affleck earned $6.7 million.

Next in the rankings was Taken 2 - Liam Neeson's return as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills - which stayed in fifth place with earnings of $4 million this weekend and $131.3 million since its release.

Here Comes the Boom, a comedy starring Kevin James as a high school teacher intent on becoming a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his school, moved up to sixth place with $2.55 million.

The number seven spot went to the genre-busting, time-traveling Cloud Atlas, in which Tom Hanks and Halle Berry each play six different roles set across a 500-year span. It took in $2.52 million.

Pitch Perfect, a musical-comedy about a cappella singing groups, earned $2.5 million to move back into the top 10 in eighth place.

In ninth place was action film The Man with the Iron Fists, starring Russell Crowe and set in feudal China, which took in $2.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was Hotel Transylvania about an overprotective vampire dad intent on guarding his adolescent daughter against a budding romance with a human boy. It earned $2.35 million.

Final figures are due out Monday.