David Arnold discusses Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell (1964-2017)

David Arnold, who scored five James Bond films, discussed his work with singer Chris Cornell  for the title song of 2006’s Casino Royale with the entertainment news website The Wrap.

Cornell died last week. Arnold paid tribute to the performer after Cornell’s death in Detroit.

Here’s an excerpt from the story in The Wrap.

Shortly after signing on…Cornell traveled to the set in Prague to meet with Arnold and the film’s director, Martin Campbell. After reading the script and watching Craig in action via a rough cut of the film, Arnold and Cornell sat down to compare ideas for the song. They agreed that the song couldn’t be called “Casino Royale” and decided that the title “You Know My Name” would fit with Bond’s ego, an element of his character that plays a major factor in the story.

Arnold and Cornell wrote You Know My Name, with Cornell as the singer. Elements of the song were woven into Arnold’s score for the 21st James Bond film. It was the last time (to date) a Bond movie composer collaborated on a 007 title song.

According to The Wrap, Arnold and Cornell “pent 10 days apart writing the song, with Cornell writing lyrics based on his interpretations of (Daniel) Craig’s performance.”

To read the entire story, CLICK HERE.

More turmoil at would-be Bond 25 studio partner Paramount

Paramount logo

Paramount logo

Paramount Pictures, one of the would-be studio partners for Bond 25, may be experiencing some more turmoil.

Bray Grey, the studio chief, is in talks with parent company Viacom about taking a different post at Viacom, the entertainment news website The Wrap reported, citing two people familiar with the situation it didn’t identify. Paramount and Viacom did not comment, The Wrap said.

The Los Angeles Times, which also reported on the talks, said Paramount could announce Grey’s exit as early as next week.

Paramount is among the studios that is supposed to be interested in striking a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to release Bond 25. MGM isn’t big enough to release its own films.

Sony Pictures has released the last four 007 films but its most recent two-picture 007 film contract expired with 2015’s SPECTRE. Paramount has done business with MGM, releasing MGM’s 2016 Ben Hur flop.

Paramount has struggled and Viacom was hobbled by a fight where the controlling Redstone family ousted CEO Philippe Dauman last year. The Redstones also control CBS and for a time wanted the companies to consider a merger. Those talks ended in December.

The talks with Grey “come nearly two weeks after” Viacom’s current CEO, Bob Bakish, “made a public mandate for improved financial performance at the studio,” The Wrap said.

Other would-be Bond 25 studio partners also have issues.

Sony Corp., parent company of Sony Pictures, last month wrote down the value of that studio by almost $1 billion. Sony Corp. has said it’s not planning to sell the movie business. Warner Bros.’ parent company, Time Warner, is being acquired by AT&T, but that $85 billion deal is pending regulatory review.

SPECTRE: What’s the difference between $200M, $199.8M?

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

Answer: Not much in the big scheme of things.

It’s one thing for 007 fan message boards to discuss (even obsess) over the subject of SPECTRE’s box office in the U.S. and Canada. But when a major entertainment website like TheWrap (which we read regularly and usually enjoy) DOES SO, well it’s time to take a deep breath.

Here’s an excerpt from TheWrap’s Feb. 25 story:

The latest James Bond movie, “Spectre,” should cross $200 million in domestic box-office on Thursday.

It’s taken the suave spy nearly four months to get there, and Sony raised the theater count from 47 to 340 last weekend to make sure it did.

Except, it didn’t.

Through Friday, Feb. 26 (when the screen count dipped to 92 from the aforementioned 340), the 24th James Bond film had a cumulative U.S.-Canada box office of $199,829,527, according to the Box Office Mojo website. The movie’s global box office has topped out at around $879.5 million.

SPECTRE generated $5,000 in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada on Friday. At that rate, it will be only a little more than a month before SPECTRE crosses the $200 million mark for the region — while the movie is also available on home video.

TheWrap story did, however, address an issue that has more long-term importance — when will Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer select a studio partner to release Bond 25?

The contract of Sony Pictures, which has release 007 movies since 2006, expires with SPECTRE. MGM has to decide whether to re-up with Sony or select a new partner. MGM, after a 2010 bankruptcy, doesn’t have a distribution arm.

The Wrap, though, didn’t add much new. MGM either has received “or will soon… a pitch from every Hollywood studio, including Sony Pictures, the current rights-holder,” The Wrap said.

Essentially, not much about Bond 25 can happen until MGM makes its choice. You can’t release a movie if there’s nobody to release it.

UPDATE: The estimated U.S.-Canadian box office for SPECTRE for the Feb. 26-28 weekend is $16,000, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO.  That place it at No. 45, with a cumulative box office in the region of $199,840,527.

SPECTRE final box office projected at $850M-$870M

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE is projected to have a final global box office of $850 million to $870 million, THE WRAP ENTERTAINMENT NEWS WEBSITE reported, citing analysts that track movie box office trends.

The 24th James Bond film could reach $900 million “in the most favorable scenario,” according to the story by Todd Cunningham.

That would be short of Skyfall’s $1.11 billion, but still be one of the top global box office films of 2015. According to BOX OFFICE MOJO, SPECTRE was No. 6 at $750.3 million through Nov. 30.

Here’s an excerpt from The Wrap’s story:

“The expectations for these franchise films gets a little unrealistic at times. I think the more relevant comparison is to look at the meteoric rise of these two films from the one before them,” Exhibitor Relations senior analyst Jeff Bock told TheWrap, referring to 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” which topped out at $586 million globally.
(snip)
“Spectre” outperformed “Skyfall” in several foreign markets, most noticeably in China, where it has taken in $83 million since opening on November 13, compared to the $59 million overall taken in by the earlier film.

The shortfall has come from the film’s home turf, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

“Skyfall” brought in $161 million from the U.K., while “Spectre” is at $128 million since breaking records in its debut there a month ago. In North America, “Spectre” is at $177 million after 25 days in release, whereas “Skyfall” was at $247 million at this point, and wound up the fourth-highest-grossing domestic release of 2012 with $304 million.

To read the entire story by The Wrap, CLICK HERE.

SPECTRE No. 1 in U.S.-Canada for 2d weekend

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE was the No. 1 movie in the U.S. and Canada for the second weekend in a row with estimated box office of $35.4 million, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO.

The 24th James Bond film’s second weekend declined by about half compared with its debut weekend, which is a typical drop.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER said SPECTRE has generated $130 million so far in the region, down from about $161 million during the comparable period for its 007 predecessor, 2012’s Skyfall. Last weekend, SPECTRE debuted at $70.4 million, compared with $88.4 million for Skyfall’s first weekend.

The new 007 film “is making up ground overseas, where it is pacing head of Skyfall in many markets,” THR’s Pamela McClintock wrote, concerning SPECTRE’s box office outside the U.S. and Canada.

SPECTRE “was No. 1 globally for the second straight week and has rung up more than half a billion dollars in roughly two weeks,” THE WRAP‘s Todd Cunningam wrote.

Skyfall’s global box office was $1.11 billion, the first Bond film to go past the $1 billion mark. Of that figure, $304.4 million came from the U.S. and Canada.

The No. 2 film this weekend was The Peanuts Movie at $24.2 million. Peanuts also debuted last weekend. In 2012, Skyfall was the only new movie in general release in its opening weekend.

UPDATE: The Wrap HAS PUBLISHED more information. The website said SPECTRE had an opening of $48 million in China and that the movie’s global box office is almost $550 million.

SPECTRE projected to have a big U.S. opening

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, is projected to have a big opening weekend in the U.S.,  according to entertainment news websites.

The new 007 film may generate box office of $80 million for the Nov. 6-8 weekend, VARIETY SAID IN A STORY today. That’s also in line with an estimate of “$80 million-plus” in an OCT. 15 STORY ON THEWRAP WEBSITE. That would not be as big as its predecessor, Skyfall, but would still be one of the largest U.S. opening weekends for a film in 2015,

Both stories are based on “tracking numbers” used to estimate a movie’s box office performance and are subject to change in the days prior to the actual debut.

In 2012, Skyfall’s opening U.S. weekend box office was $88.4 million, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO. Three years ago, Skyfall had virtually no competition. (The only other movies opening that weekend were in “limited” release and not available across the country.)

The 23rd Bond Skyfall also got a promotional boost during the 2012 Summer Olympics, which included a Bond-themed presentation with Daniel Craig in character as 007 during the opening ceremonies. Also generating interest was as the 50th anniversary of the 007 film series.

This time around, there’s a film based on the Peanuts comic strip opening across the U.S. the same weekend as SPECTRE. The Peanuts Movie that’s projected to have an opening of $40 million “or more,” according to Variety. “The competition could cut into ‘Spectre’s’ opening haul,” Variety’s Brent Lang wrote.

An $80 million opening weekend would place SPECTRE at No. 7 (or perhaps we should say No. 007) in the U.S. this year, according to THIS BOX OFFICE MOJO CHART.

UPDATE: In response to an e-mail, the average North American movie ticket price in 2015 (as of June 15) was $8.12 compared with $7.96 in 2012, ACCORDING TO THIS CHART.

With SPECTRE, 007 ‘Silly Season’ kicks into high gear

Bond spat out an obscenity after reading the articles.

Bond spat out an obscenity after reading the articles.

A new James Bond movie is out. So, naturally, it’s time for all sorts of articles to cite Agent 007, while he’s fresh in the public’s mind, to draw attention to themselves.

For example, there’s THIS REUTERS STORY with a headline proclaiming the fictional agent is Britain’s “greatest intelligence asset.”

It begins thusly:

In the 62 years since James Bond first appeared in print, there’s no doubt he has helped boost the reputations of his real-life counterparts in British intelligence.

Later, Reuters (a one-time employer of 007 author Ian Fleming) says, “Bond and his fellow fictional British operatives, however, allow UK intelligence to project an image” that goes beyond reality. “It might have only the most tangential relationship to what really happens, but it still has real-world impact.”

That’s all well and good except THIS BUZZFEED STORY says British Intelligence isn’t exactly embracing the Bond image these days.

The story concerns a recruiting drive.

The launch of the campaign coincides with the release of the latest James Bond movie, Spectre. MI6 bosses are well aware that the film will lead to a flurry of interest in working for the agency.

But the organisation is at pains to make clear that Bond – a gun-toting, Martini-drinking, womanising loner – is not a true reflection of the modern-day intelligence officer. “James Bond would probably not be successful in joining SIS, if he were to apply,” an intelligence source said.

The Wrap entertainment news website summarized the BuzzFeed story with the headline “JAMES BOND COULDN’T GET A JOB AT MI6, AGENCY SAYS.”

Meanwhile, this is also an opportunity to write about how the cinema world of James Bond doesn’t match up with the real one.

For example, some articles point out IT’D REALLY BE HARD FOR BOND TO GET AUTO INSURANCE because he trashes a lot of vehicles.

Elsewhere, we’re told BOND’S PICKUP LINES WITH WOMEN DON’T WORK IN REAL LIFE.

“Dating expert Hayley Quinn set out to find out just how far James Bond’s pickup lines would take a man in real life, so she enlisted the help of fellow blogger Ollie Pearce to test them out in the streets of London,” according to the story.