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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by 00Klady23

$14.7m. $27m. $32.5m.

Opening day for Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and yesterday, Skyfall.

Bond tends to grow a little each time out. But you can see the big leap between Bond’s #2 all-time domestic opening day and the new Bond. I would guess that the excitement around Casino Royale, combined with stellar reviews/buzz around the new one, means that the problems of the middle child (ahem) have been overlooked… and a great Bond film is still a major worldwide event. (For the record, Pierce Brosnan’s 4th Bond, Die Another Day, featuring Halle Berry in persimmon, will be the #3 best opening in the series after this weekend, with $16.6m.)

The big event of this, to me, is that it puts Bond up amongst the big franchises for the first time in the current franchise era. $600 million, which is as well as Bond has done, is great. But there are 71 other films that have done better. $700 million moves you up 20 slots on the all-time chart. And $800 million puts you in the Top 35. The active franchises that gross in that Top 35 range are Spider-Man, Transformers, Ice Age, the revived Star Wars, Pirates, Avengers, and Avatar. Bond is still not going to the top of that list, but pushing back into the Top Ten of franchises (Twilight leaving… Hobbit on the way) is big. Remember all the Hunger Games hype at under $700m worldwide.

Wreck-It Ralph isn’t going to get to the $200m domestic that Tangled did, but it will get into the tier of over-$100m domestic movies from Disney Animation in the last decade… which is, I think, where they expect those movies to live.

Flight & Argo are next, though the lower grosser this weekend still has the stronger trajectory.

On the limited release chart, it’s Lincoln leading with what looks like a 70k – 80k per screen for the weekend on 11 screens. Good, but not a defining box office weekend. Next best is $4900 per on 2 for the beautiful and upsetting Chasing Ice, a gorgeous piece of filmmaking about an ugly situation with polar warming.

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32 Responses to “Friday Estimates by 00Klady23”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    And meanwhile, Taken 2 just keeps going and going and going…

  2. bulldog68 says:

    That surprised the hell out of me last week Joe. In it’s waning weeks it’s actually behaving like Taken 1.

    And am I the only one that was underwhelmed Bond? It’s getting such unanimous applause but I found myself checking my watch. I know I am in the minority but to me this is the least of the Daniel Craig series. I loved the story, but to me the payoff was lacking. Javier Bardem was great, but not given enough to do, and there were story elements that were forgotten big time.

    I also think the plotline that they borrowed from Mission Impossible 1 was handled with more gravitas and urgency in MI1 than in Skyfall. I’d like to talk about it more, so if Dave believes that we could have a Spoiler Filled blog, I’d love to read the other comments.

  3. Geoff says:

    Dave, I generally agree with your sentiment about Skyfall though I haven’t seen it yet….but Quantum of Solace had an opening day of about $27 million which is much higher than what you listed. That said, I do see this one having much better legs.

  4. etguild2 says:

    70k-80k per theater isn’t defining? Only three movies have hit that level in more than 8 theatres on opening weekend….”Precious,” “Up in The Air,” and “Black Swan”

    Based on that, I’d say “Lincoln” is in good company. I guess you could argue it’s Spielberg, but really, do people seek out Spielberg movies more than Aronofsky ones? Who knows.

    Day-Lewis is a marginal factor, as his limited release history shows.

  5. David Poland says:

    Well, et…

    Black Swan – $107m dom
    Up In The Air – $84m dom
    Precious – $48m dom

    So what does this stat define… aside from a lot of interest in the film in a limited opening weekend?

    $109k per on 5 irrelevant?

    My point is, was, and continues to be that these opening numbers tell us almost nothing about a movie’s eventual box office success, aside from that it will not be a complete flop.

    We just went through $147k on 5 with The Master, which is more impressive in my book than $80k on 11… and it led to under $20m.

    Good company? Absolutely. Any real box office info beyond this weekend to smartly define a future? No.

  6. David Poland says:

    That was a stupid typo, Geoff. Now fixed.

  7. Big G says:

    Argo is definitely going to hit $100 million. Didn’t see that coming.

  8. Lex says:

    Has THE SESSIONS already become that yearly “first Fox Searclight contender out of the gate that doesn’t catch on”? A la “Conviction”? It hasn’t gone wide by any means, but in L.A. it’s already playing shoeboxes and second-runs, NOBODY is talking about it.

    I thought it was some major player?

  9. Js Partisan says:

    This is the best Bond since “Goldeneye” and it makes “Goldeneye” seem rather trite in comparison. Everything about it works and it humanizes Bond in ways that BOND movies rarely do. Hopefully, Sony gives it an Oscar push for no other reason than to keep “The Dark Knight Rises” from that tenth spot. It’s a much better film and unlike “The Dark Knight Rises,” it actually ends it’s trilogy with a flourish.

    “Skyfall” aside, “Wreck-It Ralph” obviously didn’t get the girls in the door. If they sold Vanellope more and how it’s also her story in a way, maybe that would have helped. Hopefully, some kids go and see it over Thanksgiving to help it uptick a bit.

  10. Rashad says:

    Skyfall isn’t an end to a trilogy. It’s its own movie.

  11. Js Partisan says:

    Uh no, it’s the end of a trilogy. Those three Bond films with Craig are a trilogy all their own that end in a way, that you get when you see “Skyfall.”

  12. bulldog68 says:

    Broccoli and Wilson talk about Skyfall.

    Confronting aging is a big part of Bond’s internal conflict in the film, and, because of that, he seems to be less of a rebel than who we saw in Quantum of Solace.

    Broccoli: Yeah, the three films are a trilogy, it’s been an evolution of the Bond character. In the beginning, with Casino Royale, he is a blunt instrument, which is what [Ian] Flemming described him as. Coming out of this film, he is a Bond who has a lot more humanity. The decisions he has to make are very difficult. He’s come out of this on top.

    Did you see it as a trilogy when you started, that Bond would end up this way?

    Wilson: They seem to work quite well together. The second one was obviously a direct carry-on, since it started five minutes after the first one. With Skyfall, it’s just the way the character is evolving.

    That’s not something we see in most of the Bond movies. Going forward, would you want to continue avoiding episodic Bond adventures?

    Wilson: We’ll have to see.

    Broccoli: I think Casino Royale was very much the coming-of-age story for Bond, since it’s about Bond becoming “Bond.” The character is defined by two very traumatic events of that film, with the whole torture scene and Vesper’s betrayal. He realized he can never live with a wife and a child. It’s one thing putting direct torture on your own self, but he couldn’t be in a situation where you’re being tortured with the possibility of something happening to your wife or child. All of that was very much about defining Bond. Quantum of Solace was him being driven by revenge, and it was very dark. I think he needed to go through that episode to enable him to come out of this film, in the way that he has. We did see that as a trilogy. With the next one, we’ll have to see where we take him beyond.

  13. christian says:

    SKYFALL had boner-inducing images – the Shanghai fight was incredible, art in motion. Still don’t like the excess grit of the character and wish the film had ended with him suiting up to be JAMES BOND but it’s terrific overall and PROVES that using top-talent doesn’t hurt the series at all. Quite the contrary. And finally, Thomas Newman gives us the best Bond score since THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.

  14. movieman says:

    Just finished watching the creepy little Irish movie, “Citadel.”
    It’s like some bizarro–albeit fairly gripping–cross between Polanski (paranoia/dread), Loach (kitchen sink miserabilism) and Margaret Thatcher (reactionary politics).
    Too bad it’s “fear of the underclass/other” subtext spoils an otherwise effective, splendidly atmospheric little thriller.

  15. Lex says:

    Berenice Marlohe = LOOOOOOK. AT. HER.

    SO HOT.

  16. anghus says:

    loved skyfall, although somebody made a comment that stuck in my brain as i watched it.


    Someone made the comparison between Bardem’s Silver and Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. I think that hits the nail right on the head.

    I loved Skyfall, but the one thing that felt really convenient was the whole capture plot. So Silver needed to blow up MI6 to get them to retreat to a subteranean bunker where he would get captured, implant a virus to help him escape where he could then travel through a series of underground tunnels so that he could then…

    …walk into a meeting dressed like a cop and shoot people?

    Huh wha?

    Couldn’t he have just showed up in London dressed like a cop and done that? The logistics behind his plan was so obscenely over the top for a ridiculously simple assasination attempt.

    It’s a minor thing, but it’s depressingly simple for someone who is supposed to be a super villain.

    And personally, i am so tired of the ‘spy list’ plot in espionage films. How many more fucking movies need to have a plot that resolves around secret operative lists? Find something new.

    As for the best picture talk, it makes me giggle. Just like the Dark Knight Rises talk made me snicker. Skyfall is a lot of fun. Gloriously shot. Well acted. Great action. A lot of fun. It’s a great mainstream film. But for Best Picture material? Only if you’re pandering to a demographic who feels alienated because smarter, better films keep getting the nominations.

    Skyfall is great. I would hardly call it best picture of the year great.

    Give Roger Deakins the oscar for cinematography. I could see this getting all the tech nominations. But Best Picture? Are we proposing nominations for polish?

  17. Js Partisan says:

    No, we are proposing nominations because it’s a much better film than “The Dark Knight Rises,” and people keep going on about that film being worthy of a nomination when it’s really not.

  18. Amblynman says:

    I fall somewhere in the middle of those who love the film and those who were a bit underwhelmed. Mendez cannot direct action. I know the movement in the movie looked great but none of it felt kinetic. Bardem is Bardem but the way Silva was written really did feel like a warmed over Ledger-Joker grab. The ending was a complete dud. Doesn’t anyone know how to end a bad guy anymore?

    Side note: I chuckled when Bardem tried to creep Bond out by seducing him. I imagined Bond saying “Thelast time I was tied to a chair I was naked and another dude was hitting me in the balls with a rope. I’m into stuff.”

  19. bulldog68 says:

    ” I chuckled when Bardem tried to creep Bond out by seducing him. I imagined Bond saying “Thelast time I was tied to a chair I was naked and another dude was hitting me in the balls with a rope. I’m into stuff.”

    That would have been fucking perfect.


    Yes I was also underwhelmed. Too much set up for too little pay off, and to accomplish too little. If his whole plan was to shoot M in the court house, why did he have to get captured in the first place. it’s not like he needed any secrets for a bigger plan. He was already in the system.

    I also thought that when M and Finney were wading through the night with a flashlight that could easily be spotted from miles away, that it was actually a set up. Was disappointed that these intelligent characters did not know they would be easily spotted.

    And my wife commented that Bond wasn’t wet or shivering after being submerged in below temperature waters at the end scene.

    Also, and I could be mistaken on this, but it seems that the three agents that they showed murdered were the three henchmen that Silva was using, so it was all staged. For some reason I got that impression, so I’m willing to be called out wrong on that one. If I’m right, then to me it’s a plot line that was left on the cutting room floor.

    Many people are saying that the “spy list” thing is overdone, but I think that Bond has the ultimate reason to do the spy list theme. He’s the world’s most popular spy. And Bond has the capacity and history to do it better than anyone else.


    All in all, there is much to like and love from this Bond. So I have no quarrel with others who obviously liked it more than I did. I just wished I had liked it more.

  20. Jason B says:

    Dark Knight Rises should probably not be a Best Picture Nom consideration (though are there 10 better than it? Not sure), but it is better than Skyfall. I am with Bulldog above, after the critical support it had, I expected Skyfall to be a masterpiece (or Best Pic consideration). I thought it slipped a bit from those heights. I wonder what all the critics saw in it, as i dont recall this level of support for Casino (which every fan loves). I enjoyed it, but it isn’t better than Casino, and though everyone hates on Solace, I love Solace (for me one of the best modern Bonds and best Craig Bond-I love the haunted Bond on a destructive path and we actually get to see him have some emotion). Skyfall is a good Bond, maybe up there with the rest of the Craig ones (he’s in the talk of best Bond ever), but Best Picture?

  21. bulldog68 says:

    Re: Wreck it Ralph. Heard a ten year old boy exclaim out loud he was so disappointed they spent so much time in that “crappy Sugar Rush” game and not enough time bug hunting.

    And JS, my own theory is that Disney is a bit gun shy about selling a Princess movie again, and especially a princess who isn’t old enough to have a romantic story, so she’s just a little girl. Little boys hate that. Ralph was front and center but it was as much her story as it was his, and it was totally lacking from the promotions. The conundrum is how do you sell a movie about video games to preteen girls, and at the same time sell a movie about a princess in candyland to boys?

  22. Js Partisan says:

    It’s perplexing as to how this Bond is disappointing. Bond is humanized and the conclusion of the film is tremendous. If we are comparing the ends of trilogies for films, “Skyfall” is a lot more satisfying then the way Nolan decided to end “The Dark Knight Rises.” A film, again, that some people are over the moon about and want to get a nomination. Les Miz is going to win it anyway, but “Skyfall” should get some recognition.

    BD, it’s not easy, but Disney could have gone with a multiple ad campaigns. Would it have worked? Maybe. The grosses for “Wreck-it Ralph” shows that it didn’t connect with girls and Disney should have at least tried something to get girls into the theatres.

  23. Rashad says:

    Skyfall isn’t a part of a trilogy. By principle, Bond doesn’t have trilogies, especially when the next movie is in the same continuity.

    Also, “humanizing” is overrated. Bond was more of a character, instead of an archetype in Casino Royale. He was the perfect action archetype in this film.

  24. Mr. Peel says:

    The last three Bonds are a trilogy the way TREK II-IV make up a trilogy–not planned that way at first and the central conflict in the third film has nothing to do with the plots of the two. One thing that slightly bugs me is that the end of the last three films are basically “…and Bond as we know him begins now.” I’m ready for it all to begin already.

    Has anyone said anything about the similarities between the third act of SKYFALL and the third act of HARD TARGET?

  25. dinovelvet says:

    The Hard Target comparison works, but I felt it was more Straw Dogs. Then I got on the internet and banged my head on the desk when I saw people saying it felt like Home Alone.

  26. Js Partisan says:

    Rashad, the people who made these three movies refer to them as a trilogy, and that means they are a trilogy. End of Line.

  27. Joe Leydon says:

    Mr. Peel: You mean there’s a shootout in a warehouse where they store Mardi Gras floats?

  28. Not David Bordwell says:

    Ah, Joe Leydon… always so nice to hear from a connoisseur.

    ETA: Hard Target SPOILER: Lance Henriksen’s “Whoop” is my all-time favorite Famous Last Word.

  29. leahnz says:

    weirdly I felt ambivalent about ‘skyfall’ until i just saw the ‘hard target’ comparison, i can’t even imagine…

    (henriksen is priceless in ‘hard target’ — one of my all-time ‘what ifs/in an alternate universe’ is seeing The Terminator with its original casting, how different would henriksen’s career have been)

  30. StellaPD says:

    Hard Target is a slow-motion masterpiece. The most quotable Van Damme movie (and indeed Henriksen is a whole lot of fun, along with Wilford Brimley).

    “Your momma named you after a bug?”

    “What kind of name is Chance?” “My momma took one.”

    “Now take your stick and your boyfriend, and find a bus to catch.”

  31. movieman says:

    I thought I was the only one who loved “Hard Target.”
    Never realized there was a cult out there.
    I remember getting tremendous grief from my Woo fetishist friends for giving it a four-star review in 1993.

  32. Not David Bordwell says:

    Having recently watched “Hard Boiled” again for the first time in… well, since college, I have no problem declaring that “Hard Target” is the better film.

    The former just does not hold up. It’s like the longest episode of Miami Vice (after season 3) EVER.

    Add this to the list, Paul:

    “Do not spill… it kill de grass.”

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So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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