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Skyfall $87.8 Million in North American Opening Week Sales, Record for Bond Film

By on November 12, 2012


“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. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” from the director’s DreamWorks Studios and distributor Walt Disney Co. (DIS), drew $900,000 in a limited opening, researcher Box- Officesaid today in an e-mailed statement. The movie, a leading Oscar contender, generated an average $81,818 per location and expands nationwide next weekend.

The latest Bond surpassed the $67.5 million opening weekend record for the 007 series set by “Quantum of Solace” in 2008. “Skyfall” benefited from positive reviews, as did “Lincoln,” and anticipation built from $323 million in overseas sales since Oct. 26 prior to its U.S. and Canadian debut.

“They’ve done an amazing job keeping the brand strong and relevant,” Gitesh Pandya, editor of 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.

Surprise Return

In the film, Bond is presumed dead after being shot accidentally by an MI6 colleague. After a surprise return, he battles a new villain, played by Javier Bardem, who has kidnapped agency chief M, portrayed by Judi Dench, and stolen a list of Western intelligence agents.

The movie cost $200 million to produce, according to estimates from researcher Box Office Mojo. In addition there are marketing expenses, which vary by project and can total as much as a film’s production budget.

Studios typically split ticket revenue with U.S. theaters about 50-50, receiving a larger share of sales the first weekend and a smaller share in subsequent weeks.

Craig, who took over the role for 2006’s “Casino Royale,” has won critical praise in addition to box-office success. “Skyfall” had a 93 percent positive rating from critics, based on reviews, according to

“With just a little tug of his shirt cuff, Daniel Craig unseats Sean Connery as cinema’s best James Bond,” Bloomberg Muse critic Greg Evans wrote.

Dr. No

“Skyfall” is the 23rd Bond production from Eon Productions, which holds the rights to the spy novels. In addition, Box Office Mojo and some other researchers include the “Never Say Never Again,” which was released by Warner Bros. in 1983 and starred Connery, bringing the total to 24.

Bond is the fifth-largest movie franchise of all time. Its previous films have averaged $204.7 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales when adjusted for inflation, according to Box Office Mojo. The films, based on the 007 character created by British spy novelist Ian Fleming, started in 1963 with “Dr. No,” starring Sean Connery. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan have also played the role.

In the domestic market, the previous highest-grossing 007 was 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” which brought in $168.5 million. Adjusted for inflation, 1965’s “Thunderball” would have sold almost $594 million in tickets in the U.S., the most of any Bond and more than all movies so far this year save “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Box Office Mojo data show.


Source: Bloomberg