Some recent 007 U.S. box office statistics

We recently did some preliminary handicapping of Skyfall’s U.S. box office prospects and said the 23rd James Bond film may only spend one weekend as the No. 1 movie in the U.S. Some posters on James Bond message boards objected (for an example CLICK HERE), so we decided to check out some recent history.

We went back and looked at the last four 007 films and how they fared in the U.S. To be clear, we were only concerned with the number of weeks they were No. 1. Here’s what we found:

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Number of weekends at No. 1: 1

Beat out: Sleepy Hollow

Yielded to: Toy Story 2

Die Another Day (2002)

Number of weekends at No. 1: 3

Beat out: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (first two weekends), Analyze That (third weekend).

Yielded to: Maid In Manhattan

Miscellaneous: The second Harry Potter film opened one week before the 20th James Bond film that also celebrated the 20th 40th anniversary of the cinema version of 007. It was close, but Die Another Day won the No. 1 movie crown the next two weekends and one more time versus Analyze That.

Casino Royale (2006)

Number of weekends at No. 1: 0

Miscellaneous: The 21st James Bond film opened against the animated Happy Feet. Daniel Craig’s 007 debut finished No. 2 three consecutive weekends to Happy Feet.

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Number of Weekends at No. 1: 1.

Beat out: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Yielded to: Twilight

Just to be clear, we’re not saying any of these Bond films was a financial flop. Casino Royale, despite not having a single weekend as the No. 1 movie in the U.S., has the top worldwide gross and No. 2 U.S. box office on an unajusted basis among the Bond films.

Still, the landscape for this year’s Skyfall looks very similar to Quantum of Solace: an excellent shot at No. 1 its opening weekend but a struggle against the Twilight franchise in week No. 2 because of the *current* popularity of the series about young vampires. Some message board posters note the fan bases are quite different. That’s true. And, *at this moment in time*, there are more Twilight fans buying tickets at movie theaters than there are Bond fans.

What makes the Bond series unique is its longevity, despite the various pauses and production interruptions. If you average out the last four movies, one week at No. 1 (in the U.S., anyway) is just about average. There’s no shame in that, not at all. The point of our previous post was to look at the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be.

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