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 approaches $975 million in worldwide ticket sales

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond movie is almost at the $975 million mark in worldwide ticket sales after an estimated $4.7 million in U.S.-Canada weekend ticket sales.

Skyfall, which came out in the U.S. during the Nov. 9-11 weekend, finished No. 8 in U.S.-Canada ticket sales this weekend, according to the Box Office Mojo Web site. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was No. 1 at $36.7 million. Skyfall’s U.S. ticket sales now total an estimated $279.9 million with worldwide sales at $974.3 million.

Interestingly, Skyfall, during its second weekend, scored higher U.S. ticket sales comapred with The Hobbit did. Skyfall had $41.1 million for the Nov. 16-18 weekend. Skyfall’s U.S. opening weekend also had higher ticket sales than The Hobbit’s first U.S. weekend.

Skyfall weeks ago became the No. 1 007 film in both U.S.-Canada and worldwide ticket sales. The movie may end up with higher U.S. ticket sales that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (No. 10 for the weekend and $281.6 million total).

Adjusted for inflation, Skyfall has passed Goldfinger for No. 2 ($936 million, according to AFP-Relaxnews). Skyfall is close to passing Thunderball at an inflation-adjsuted $1.04 billion. Skyfall will open in China early next year.

007 vanquishes the vampires; Skyfall No. 1 at U.S. box office

"Vampires? What vampires?"

“Vampires? What vampires?”

James Bond vanquished the vampires as Skyfall retook the No. 1 U.S. box office title this weekend, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

The 23rd 007 film generated an estimated $11 million in ticket sales for the Dec. 7-9 weekend, ahead of Rise of the Guardians at $10.5 million and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 at $9.2 million, according to the Web site of the trade publication. Final figures will be reported Dec. 10.

Skyfall held the No. 1 spot the weekend of Nov. 9-11, when it opened. It has stayed at No. 2 behind the last film in the Twilight series about young vampires ever since. Twilight’s gap, though, had narrowed. Last weekend, Twilight’s lead was less than $1 million at $17.4 million to $16.6 million for Skyfall.

On a daily basis, Skyfall first regained the lead on Dec. 1, yielded it on Dec. 2-3 and then grabbed it back starting on Dec. 4, according to charts on the Box Office Mojo Web site.

Skyfall’s U.S.-Canada ticket sales had reached $253.7 million and $876.7 million worldwide as of Dec. 7, according to Box Office Mojo.

UPDATE: Box Office Mojo has updated Skyfall’s estimated cumulative ticket sales through Dec. 9 to $261.6 million in the U.S. and Canada and $918.2 million worldwide.

UPDATE II: Box Office Mojo has the final actual ticket sales figures for this past weekend. You can CLICK HERE to see. They were 1) Skyfall at $10.8 million 2) Rise of the Guardians, !0.4 million and 3) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 at $9.2 million.

Skyfall repeats as No. 2 in U.S. box office

Skyfall, for the third weekend in a row, was No. 2 in U.S.-Canada movie ticket sales, according to the BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE.

The 23rd James Bond movie had an estimated $17 million in ticket sales, according to the Web site. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 was again No. 1, but not by much, at $17.4 million.

The results bring Skyfall’s U.S.-Canada total to $246 million and its worldwide ticket sales to $869 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The film had already set U.S. and worldwide ticket sales records.

About the only box-office suspense remaining is whether Skyfall can crack the $1 billion mark for ticket sales. That would put Skyfall near The Dark Knight Rises at $1.08 billion. Marvel’s The Avengers is the No. 1 worldwide this year at $1.51 billion.

Skyfall keeps No. 2 U.S. box office spot

UPDATE: The worldwide ticket sale figure in the last paragraph is updated from earlier on Nov. 25.

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond movie, held on to the No. 2 spot in U.S.-Canada movie ticket sales during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE.

Skyfall’s ticket sales will total an estimated $36 million for the Nov. 23-25 weekend, according to the site that tracks box office results of films. That’s second behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 at an estimated $43.07 million. Skyfall’s weekend ticket sales only declined 12 percent from last weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

Skyfall’s U.S. ticket sales, which established a record for the region last week, now total an estimated $221.7 million. The previous record was 2008’s Quantum of Solace at $169.4 million.

Box Office Mojo also estimates that Skyfall’s worldwide ticket sales, already a 007 record, now total $790.1 million.

Skyfall sets 007 record; slips to No. 2 behind vampires in U.S.

“Pesky vampires.”

UPDATE I: Skyfall is now the No. 1 movie in the James Bond series for worldwide ticket sales at $669 million, according to estimates by Sony Pictures listed at the BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE. The previous record was 2006’s Casino Royale at $596.4 million.

EARLIER: Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, slipped to No. 2 movie in the U.S. in its second weekend as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II, the final film in the young vampire series, sold $141.3 million in tickets, according to studio estimates at THE BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE.

Skyfall’s U.S. ticket sales for the weekend may total an estimated $41.5 million. The movie’s total for the region is an estimated $161.3 million. Quantum of Solace currently holds the U.S.-Canada 007 box office record at $169.4 million.

The $41.5 million Skyfall figure represents a 53 percent decline from the opening weekend. That’s in line with the usual dropoff (50 percent is normal). It’s also better than 2008 when Quantum’s U.S.-Canada ticket sales slid 60 percent in its second weekend, when the first Twilight movie debuted.

Skyfall should set the new 007 record this week, probably by mid-week. Box Office Mojo also has A DAILY BREAKDOWN OF SKYFALL TICKET SALES. The lowest day last week was $5.1 million on Thursday, Nov. 15. Also, based on that chart, it appears Skyfall ticket sales fell off more on Friday, Nov. 16 (the first day of the Twilight final movie) but recovered somewhat on Saturday.

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.

A few Skyfall numbers studio bosses will watch

The countdown for Skyfall’s release this fall has begun. For example, the official 007 Twitter feed says the movie is now 22 weeks away so it has a contest where the “best Tweet” today, May 27, receives 22 James Bond movie posters “signed by producers.” On the other hand, we’re wondering about some numbers that studio bosses at Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will be watching:

$600 million: Minimum figure for Skyfall’s worldwide ticket sales to be considered successful.

The highest worldwide gross to date was Casino Royale’s $596.4 million in 2006. In the U.S., the average ticket price was for a movie was $6.55 that year, according to to the National Association of Theatre Owners. That rose to $7.93 last year, according to the trade group.

So, ticket prices will be higher for Skyfall and the movie will be available at higher-priced Imax theaters, a first for a 007 film. As a result, if Skyfall ticket sales total under $600 million, executives (regardless of what they say in public) will probably be disappointed.

$70 million: Minimum figure for Skyfall’s opening weekend in the U.S. to be seen as a success. The biggest U.S. opening weekend for the Bond series was $67.5 million for 2008’s Quantum of Solace, when the average ticket price was $7.18 each.

Now, some will argue that the U.S. isn’t that important to the Bond franchise, that most of its sales are interantional, etc. That’s true. But U.S. numbers are important to the perception of how well a movie is scoring with audiences.

Example: Battleship had sold $230 million in tickets outside the U.S.. However, because it only had a $23.5 million opening weekend in the U.S., the Deadline entertainment Web site, said it had “John Carter-low grosses for high cost (which is why the star of both pics, Taylor Kitsch, will be asking “You want fries with that?” very shortly).”

50 percent: Studios expect, at least in the U.S., a movie’s ticket sales to decline 50 percent during a film’s second weekend. If the figure comes in at 50 percent or lower, execs are happy. Quantum of Solace dropped 60 percent its second weekend in U.S. theaters, yielding the No. 1 spot to the first Twilight vampire movie. Skyfall, in its second weekend in the U.S., will be up against The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II.

The statistic Sony and MGM will be looking at is whether Skyfall’s dropoff stays around 50 percent or if it’s worse, the way Quantum’s was.

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 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 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.