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.

The 007-Dick Tracy-Batman mashup

dicktracy

James Bond fans often discuss how Ian Fleming’s original novels and short stories compare with literature or comment about the 007 movies (in particular the 2006-2012 movies) shape up as cinema.

There’s often little commentary about how they compare to pulp stories or to comic strips such as Dick Tracy or comic books such as Batman

In fact, 007 shares many of the same elements as Tracy (who made his debut in 1931) and Batman (whose first appearance was in 1939).

All three characters encounter larger-than-life villains: Flattop, Mumbles, Pruneface and many others for Tracy; Goldfinger, Dr. No, Ernst Stavro Blofeld for Bond; and the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face and the Catwoman for Batman. All three characters dabble in science fiction: two-way wrist radios/televisions/computers/space coupes for Tracy; high-tech Batmobiles, Bat-computers and other devices for Batman; various gadgets (especially in films) and tricked-out cars for Bond.

The comparisons between 007 and Batman have been out in force this year after Skyfall director Sam Mendes said Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy influenced Skyfall. The Tracy comparison doesn’t get talked about as much for obvious reasons. There hasn’t been a Tracy movie since 1990, when Warren Beatty directed and starred in a Tracy film.

Still, Tracy, created by Chester Gould (1900-1985), had many of the same elements of 007 and Batman and was out earlier. Tracy doesn’t get much attention these days but if you CLICK HERE you can catch up on his newest exploits.

The main difference among the characters: Tracy married Tess Trueheart on Christmas Day 1949 and raised a family.

Skyfall sets 007 record for U.S. opening

UPDATE (Nov. 12): The revised final figure for Skyfall’s opening weekend is North America is $88.4 million according to a story at BLOOMBERG.COM.

ORIGINAL POST: Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, sold $87.8 million in tickets in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, breaking the previous 007 record of $67.5 million for 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig in Skyfall scores a 007 U.S. box office record.


Here’s an excerpt of a story at BLOOMBERG.COM

“Skyfall,” the latest James Bond film and the third starring Daniel Craig, led the U.S. and Canadian box office with a franchise-record $87.8 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp. (6758) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
(snip)

“They’ve done an amazing job keeping the brand strong and relevant,” Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com in New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s the oldest brand out there in the movie industry so the fact that 50 years later they’re doing record business shows that they’ve handled the property very well.”

Pandya expects the installment to gross more than $900 million globally in theaters.

For some perspective, Skyfall’s U.S. opening was higher than some recent popular comic book-based movies, including Captain America ($65 million), and Thor ($65.7 million), both released in 2011. If Skyfall can secure $900 million in worldwide ticket sales, that would get it close to the likes of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, each of which generated $1 billion in ticket sales. Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall, has said The Dark Knight helped influence Skyfall.

Meanwhile, the Box Office Mojo Web site estimates that Skyfall has total worldwide ticket sales to date of $518.6 million, including $428.6 million outside the U.S. and Canada.

Skyfall’s U.S. box office: how high is up?

UPDATE (Nov. 8): The Los Angeles Times in a story you read BY CLICKING HERE people who’ve seen pre-release audience surveys as estimating Skyfall’s opening weekend in the U.S. will generate at least $75 million in ticket sales. A Sony spokesman (who isn’t identified) says the studio’s estimate is $65 million to $70 million.

ORIGINAL NOV. 5 POST: Skyfall is almost halfway to being the top-grossing James Bond movie unadjusted for inflation. The question now is how high can the movie go in the U.S. market, where it opens this week.

Daniel Craig in a Skyfall publicity sill


The 23rd James Bond movie recorded $287 million in international ticket sales through Oct. 4 and $289 million in updated figures as of Oct. 5 on Box Office Mojo. It’s projected that Skyfall will also hit a U.S. record, again unadjusted for inflation. The highest U.S. sales for the 007 series was Quantum of Solace’s $168.4 million mark, which included a $67.5 million opening weekend. Casino Royale is 2006 is the top-grossing film in the series at $596.4 million.

Here’s a list of four estimates we’ve come across for Skyfall:

BOXOFFICE.COM: $230 million total U.S.; $85 million opening weekend

Exhibitors Relations, cited in THE WRAP entertainment news Web site: $230 million total U.S., more than $70 million opening weekend.

DEADLINE ENTERTAINMENT NEW WEB SITE: $215 million total U.S., described as a “guesstimate.”

BOX OFFICE MOJO: $185 million total U.S.

Skyfall is the only major movie debuting in wide release this weekend in the U.S. (A Steven Spielberg-directed biography of Abraham Lincoln will be in limited release before its general release on Nov. 16.) Also, on Nov. 16, another movie opens that could take a lot of the U.S. box office oxygen, as described by The Wrap:

(Skyfall’s) first week in the U.S. will be crucial, as the following weekend will see the debut of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2.” Summit’s finale of the “Twilight” series has topped the pre-sales charts since tickets became available online more than a month ago, and it is projected to open in the $150 million range.

While the foreign bows weren’t intentionally set up to boost the U.S. release, Sony knew they could help. “The idea was to build worldwide momentum out of the U.K. and Western Europe,” Sony spokesman Steve Elzer told TheWrap. “We employed a similar pattern on ‘Quantum of Solace.’”

In 2008, Quantum of Solace’s ticket sales fell 60 percent because of the debut of the first Twilight movie. Sony refers to the Sony Pictures unit of Sony Corp., which is releasing Skyfall and co-financed it with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Meanwhile, many Bond fans would like to see Skyfall crash beyond the $600 million worldwide ticket sale mark and reach $1 billion. That would put the movie in the conversation as all-time 007 champ even adjusted for inflation (Thunderball is the No. 1 film on an inflation-adjusted basis). It would also put it in the same box-office class as movies such as The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

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