How Christopher Nolan’s new film affects Bond 24

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan, director of the 2005-2012 Batman trilogy of films, is directing a new science fiction movie that has a Nov. 7, 2014 release date ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE.

Interstellar will be co-produced by co-released by Warner Bros. and Paramount. The development may also affect Bond 24. For one thing, this appears to kill any chance that Nolan would direct Bond 24 after Sam Mendes turned down the project. That will disappoint some fans who’d like to view Nolan’s take on 007.

The earliest Bond 24 might come out is late 2014 and Nolan’s time is spoken for that kind of timetable. Even if Bond 24 ends up with a 2015 release date, would Nolan want to turn around from one major project to start working on another? Or would the director want to recharge his batteries?

The latter seems more likely. Nolan’s movies are often complex affairs with lots of special effects. His last three movies as a director (The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises) were done at two-year intervals.

Meanwhile, Interstellar’s release date might affect Bond 24 IF the Bond film comes out in 2014. Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer probably would want some space between Interstellar and Bond 24 on the release calendar. Studios generally don’t want their “tent pole” films (blockbusters in non-studio executive speak) coming out on top of one another.

It’s not a sure bet that Bond 24 will come out in 2014, of course. But Interstellar would be part of the chess game that studios play if Bond 24 gets a ’14 release date.

You can CLICK HERE to view a January story in the Hollywood Reporter about how Nolan was in talks to direct the movie.

The Dark Knight-Skyfall double feature

Skyfall's inspiration

Skyfall’s inspiration

Before home video, James Bond fans enjoyed double features of re-released 007 movies.

In 2013, thanks to said home video, you can create your own double and triple features. One appropriate double bill is 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s Skyfall, which is available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download in the U.S.

First of all, Skyfall director Sam Mendes has said The Dark Knight was an inspiration in Skyfall’s development and he spoke admirably about director Christopher Nolan’s work on the 2008 film. Watching the two films back to back, Mendes certainly wasn’t kidding. While the two movies aren’t clones of each other, there are certainly a number of similarities:

The Dark Knight: The Joker has a complicated plan that relies on him being captured.

Skyfall: Villain Silva has a complicated plan that relies on him being captured.

The Dark Knight: A Hong Kong sequence has a darkly photographed action sequence in the foreground contrasted with bright exterior lights in the background as Batman (Christain Bale) captures a Chinese businessman-criminal who is laundering money for Gotham City’s mobs.

Skyfall: A Shanghai sequence has a darkly photographed action sequence in the foreground contrasted with bright exterior lights in the background as Bond (Daniel Craig) fights with an assassin.

The Dark Knight: The score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard is often dark and foreboding, matching much of the mood of the film.

Skyfall: The score by Thomas Newman is often dark and foreboding, matching much of the mood of the film.

The Joker, err, Silva, attacks Skyfall manor

Silva attacks Wayne Skyfall Manor Lodge


The Dark Knight: Harvey Dent, transformed by the Joker into Two Face, considers committing suicide.

Skyfall: Silva considers committee suicide. In his case, he wants M (Judi Dench) to pull the trigger so they both die.

The Dark Knight: The Joker at times has a tenuous, at best, hold on reality.

Skyfall: Silva at times has a tenuous, at best, hold on reality.

The Dark Knight: Two Face has a facial deformity.

Skyfall: Silva has a facial deformity, though his is disguised most of the time.

It should be noted that Nolan evokes an early Bond movie in his 2008 movie. In the aforementioned Hong Kong action scene, Batman makes his escape with his prisoner by being reeled into a plane, similar to the way Bond and Domino were hoisted into an aircraft at the end of 1965’s Thunderball. Nolan even reworks the idea in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, except villain Bane is reeled into a plane after abducting a scientist.

Skyfall now No. 2 for 2012 movies, No. 7 all-time

Skyfall's poster image

Skyfall’s poster image

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, is now the second-highest for 2012 movie ticket sales and No. 7 all-time, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Web site, which tracks movie ticket sales, now estimates Skyfall’s box office at $1.09 billion as of 3 p.m. New York time.

The Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall has now passed The Dark Knight Returns at $1.08 billion. The final of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies had held the No. 2 spot for 2012 and No. 7 slot for all-time. Mendes has said previously that Nolan’s second Batman film, The Dark Knight, influenced the development of Skyfall.

The No. 1 2012 movie for ticket sales was Marvel’s The Avengers at $1.51 billion, which is also No. 3 all-time. All figures not adjusted for inflation.

Skyfall will be released on home video this month.

Skyfall’s legacy

Skyfall's poster image

Skyfall’s poster image

As Skyfall’s run in theaters ends (outside of China, anyway), there have been various efforts to analyze its place in 007 history, including whether or not it should be considered the top Bond performer even adjusted for inflation.

Here’s a simpler evaluation, without math or complicated comparison of box office from different eras over a half century: Skyfall, whether you liked it (and many did) or not, re-established or confirmed (depending on your view) Agent 007 as a major player in pop culture.

Not that long ago, Harry Potter films had passed 007 for worldwide ticket sales. Many 007 fans cried foul, saying such comparisons were unfair. Today, after Skyfall has reached No. 8 all time in adjusted ticket sales? You don’t hear that so much.

In 2008, Quantum of Solace got off to a strong opening weekend in the U.S. but faltered the next weekend when Twilight,the first of series of movies about young vampires, arrived in theaters. Four years later, Skyfall and 007 got even, recording higher ticket sales, even in the U.S., Twilight’s home ground for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final bow of the young vampires.

All of this occurred despite a bankruptcy at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio that controls half of the 007 franchise. It happened despite a four-year hiatus for 007.

Is 007 as big as 1965, when Thunderball set a James Bond box office record for (unadjusted for inflation) worldwide ticket sales that would stand until 1973’s Live And Let Die? Well, 1965 was a big year for Bond: it started out with Goldfinger still playing in theaters, was followed by a Dr. No-From Russia With Love getting re-released as a double feature and concluded with Thunderball. Thanks to home video, that kind of almost-constant run in theaters can’t happen today.

On the other hand, remember Thunderball wasn’t even the most popular movie in the year it was released. The Sound of Music had higher U.S.-Canada ticket sales than Thunderball did worldwide. Thunderball was a huge hit, to be sure, but some fans may remember it as being even larger than it was.

Skyfall, which debuted in Chinese theaters last week, is right behind The Dark Knight Rises for No. 7 all-time (unadjusted) and No. 2 movie worldwide for 2012 releases.

Eon Productions, MGM and Sony Pictures (which has released the last three 007 films) face a tough comparison when Bond 24 goes into production. But that’s a discussion for another day. As of early 2013, Harry Potter, Twilight and Batman (at least until the next reboot) have fallen away; agent 007 is still plugging away. That’s Skyfall’s real legacy.

Skyfall jumps to No. 8 all time after China ticket sales

Agent Eve is rather excited about Skyfall's box office.

Agent Eve is rather excited about Skyfall’s box office.

Skyfall jumped to No. 8 in all time worldwide ticket sales from No. 11 a week ago after the 007 film’s first week of ticket sales in China.

The 23rd James Bond film’s worldwide total rose to $1.078 billion as of 11:55 a.m. New York time, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO. That did not include an estimate for U.S.-Canada weekend ticket sales. so the figure will probably be revised later today

Skyfall generated $18 million in ticket sales in China within its first four days of release, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ON JAN. 24.

As a result, Skyfall has passed Toy Story 3 and Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest on the all-time list by unadjusted worldwide ticket sales. It’s just below (again as of 11:55 a.m.) The Dark Knight Rises at No. 7 at $1.081 billion.

UPDATE (2:45 p.m.): Skyfall doesn’t show up on Box Office Mojo’s U.S.-CANADA CHART FOR THE JAN. 25-27 WEEKEND. It’s still at some theaters, but if Box Office Mojo is correct, the film didn’t generate $18,000 in U.S.-Canada ticket sales this weekend. In any event, Box Office Mojo didn’t revise Skyfall’s worldwide ticket sale figure after 11:55 a.m.

UPDATE II (Jan. 28): Box Office Mojo updated Skyfall’s worldwide total to $1.0785 billion after adding U.S.-Canada ticket sales over the weekend. The U.S. Canada total is now $302 million.

Skyfall approaches $300 million U.S. ticket sales

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Skyfall is approaching the $300 million mark for U.S.-Canada ticket sales as its run in the region’s theaters nears its end.

The 23rd James Bond movie has generated $299.4 million in U.S.-Canada ticket sales, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO following an estimated $1.57 million for the Jan. 11-13 weekend.

Skyfall is now at $1.026 billion $1.03 billion (Box Office Mojo updated the figure between 12 noon and 3 p.m. New York time) in worldwide ticket sales. It passed the $1 billion market at the end of December. It was one of three movies to reach that level in 2012, behind Marvel’s The Avengers at $1.51 billion and The Dark Knight Rises at $1.08 billion.

The last major market that hasn’t gotten Skyfall yet is China, according to THIS LIST ON IMDB.COM.

Skyfall: the billion-dollar Bond

The billion-dollar Bond

The billion-dollar Bond

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, is projected to reach $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales today, according to the BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE.

Skyfall will sell an estimated $4.6 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, bringing its total in the region to $289.6 million. The 007 film has sold an estimated $710.6 million in other markets, according to the Web site which tracks movie ticket sales. The full estimated worldwide ticket sale figure as of today is $1,000,200,000, Box Office Mojo said. The actual U.S. weekend figure will be reported tomorrow. It’s possible if the actual weekend sales are revised lower that Skyfall would momentarily fall short of $1 billion.

Hitting the $1 billion mark puts Skyfall in the conversation for all-time 007 box-office champion even when adjusting for inflation. Thunderball has been No. 1 on the inflation-adjusted list, with amounts varying based on who is doing the calculations. Earlier this year, AFP-Relaxnews put Thunderball’s inflation-adjusted figure at $1.04 billion. Skyfall has yet to open in China, which will add to the movie’s take.

In the U.S., Skyfall is finishing 2012 as the No. 4 film, behind Marvel’s The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games. Skyfall also looks likely to beat The Dark Knight Rises, at $1.08 billion, in worldwide ticket sales. Marvel’s The Avengers is No. 1 worldwide for 2012 at $1.5 billion.

UPDATE: A story in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER has some quotes from MGM and Sony executives about Skyfall reaching the $1 billion milestone.

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