Early handicapping of Skyfall’s U.S. box office prospects

007 will find those mirrors of limited use when dealing with the box office power of The Twilight Saga vampires

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, is still in production but we decided to look ahead to the U.S. box office landscape the 007 movie will face in November.

Our early guess: No threats to the rear or at the front lines, but Skyfall will face tough competition a week after its Nov. 9, 2012 opening in the U.S.

We looked at THIS SCHEDULE on The Numbers Web site. On Nov. 2, the line-up looks like this:

November 2 Red Dawn Open Road
November 2 The Guilt Trip Paramount Pictures
November 2 Wreck-It Ralph Walt Disney Pictures
November 2 Seven Psychopaths (Limited) CBS Films

Red Dawn is a remake of a 1984 movie <a.directed by John Milius about teenagers in the U.S. heartland defending themselves again invading Soviet soldiers. The 2012 remake is directed by Dan Bradley, second-unit director on a couple of Jason Bourne movies and 2008’s Quantum of Solace. According to the IMDB.com entry, the villains in the remake are North Korean soldiers. The Guilt Trip stars Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand. Wreck-It Falph, ,a>based on its IMDB.com entry doesn’t look like a huge box-office hit. Seven Psychopaths has a cast that includes two former 007 actors (Christopher Walken and Olga Kurylenko) but the fact it’s in limited release suggests it won’t be a ginormous hit at the box office.

On the weekend of Nov. 9? Besides Skyfall, there’s <a.Anna Karenina, a remake of a remake of a 1935 movie with Greta Garbo. And that’s it.

Ah, but the big challenge lies a week later, Nov. 16, with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II, the latest in the series of films about young vampires that’s been a huge hit in the U.S.

To summarize: It doesn’t appear there’s a huge hit immediately before Skyfall’s U.S. opening, and not much competition for the 007 film’s first weekend. That is, unless major studios change their schedules, Skyfall likely will be the No. 1 movie on opening weekend. At the same time, Skyfall will be “one and done” the following weekend as The Twilight Saga takes over. Anyway, we’ll see in five months.

Benson wins a Lovey!

Cover Art © Del Ray Books. Click to embiggen.

Our good friend — and six-time James Bond novelist — Raymond Benson has just picked up an award at last week’s Love Is Murder mystery writer’s conference in Chicago. Sharing the “Lovey” with filmmaker John Milius, Mr. Benson won in the Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Horror category for the novel Homefront — The Voice of Freedom, based on the popular HOMEFRONT video game developed by Mr. Milius for THQ.

The book is published by Del Ray, a division of Random House. They describe it thusly:


America may be reeling from endless recessions and crippling oil wars, but hack reporter Ben Walker never expected to see his homeland invaded and occupied by a reunified Korea—now a formidable world power under Kim Jong-il’s dictator son.

The enemy’s massive cyberattack is followed by the detonation of an electromagnetic pulse that destroys technology across the United States. Communications, weapons, and defense systems are rendered useless; thousands perish as vehicles suddenly lose power and passenger jets plummet to the ground.

Fleeing the chaos of Los Angeles, Walker discovers that although America’s military has been scattered, its fighting spirit remains. Walker joins the soldiers as they head east across the desert, battling Korean patrols—and soon finds his own mission. Walker reinvents himself as the Voice of Freedom, broadcasting information and enemy positions to civilian Resistance cells via guerrilla radio.

But Walker’s broadcasts have also reached the ears of the enemy. Korea dispatches its deadliest warrior to hunt the Voice of Freedom and crush the ever-growing Resistance before it can mount a new war for American liberty.

(Mr. Benson has previously won the “Lovey” in 2009 for Metal Gear Solid in the same category, and in the 2007 “Best Thriller” category with Sweetie’s Diamonds.)

On the off chance that you haven’t yet read it, Homefront — The Voice of Freedom is available at all fine booksellers, and from Amazon.com in several formats, including Kindle.

HMSS extends its congratulations to Raymond Benson on the winning of his third “Lovey” award!

PS: As a by-the-way, fans of his fabulous novel The Black Stiletto are in for a treat. Right now you can grab — for free! — a copy of his short story “The Black Stiletto’s Autograph” over at the SmashWords website. A sort-of prequel to the novel, this particular piece gives us a little back story, and a little additional insight, into the character of our favorite new costumed urban avenger. So, if you can’t wait for The Black Stiletto: Black and White to come out later this year, hightail it over to SmashWords to snag your free copy. They have it formatted for practically every platform in the world (including Kindle), so don’t worry if you don’t have an iNook or whatever.