Well, we all knew this was going to be a big weekend for James Bond in North America, since Quantum of Solace was smashing records all over the rest of the world for the last two weeks. How big was this Bond? Well, it was only the biggest domestic opening for an 007 movie in history. Quantum of Solace brought in $70 million in 3,451 theaters.
That showing compares favorably to the $69 million brought in by The Bourne Ultimatum, the last Jason Bourne flick. It’s also nearly $30 million more than what Casino Royale did for business its opening weekend. Overall, this latest Bond movie has grossed $322 million worldwide. It’s an absolute money train, this flick.
I gotta tell you, though, I have mixed feelings about this week’s box office haul. Sure, Daniel Craig was awesome again as Bond, but I have to share the view of folks like Roger Ebert who complained loudly in his review that James Bond is “not an action hero”, and that this flick was too much of a departure from the other James Bond movies. Where were the catchphrases, the gadgets, the larger-than-life villains? Where the heck was Q, and Moneypenny? Were they let go in cutbacks due to the economic situation? And why the heck didn’t Bond — this Bond — make much more of a play for Olga Kurylenko when he had the chance? Maybe because he was too broken up over Vesper Lynd? Who knows. You can bet Sean Connery’s and Roger Moore’s Bonds would have been all over her, guaranteed.
Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but Bond is just not a nice guy these days. He’s not enjoying life much at all and just isn’t himself. He’s not even into girls.
It seemed obvious to me and to a lot of other people that this latest flick went too far in the Bourne direction. What they really needed to do was find some sort of middle ground between the old Bond movies and this latest reboot of the franchise — and throw a bone to the audience occasionally to remind us from time to time that we’re watching a James Bond movie.
Well, the sad news for us die-hard fans is that the producers over at EON Productions are going to look at this $70 million dollar money train, the biggest Bond opening in history, and they’ll consider it an endorsement of the direction of the franchise. This movie made almost exactly the same amount of money that Bourne did in North America in its opening.
We’re going to get more Bond-as-Bourne movies, guaranteed, now. Some people will like that. Me, I need a drink.
Here’s a look at the box office totals and I dare everyone in Hollywood to cry about suffering from hard times after you read this:
If the folks who work in the motion picture department at Sony get their Christmas bonuses cut this year, they will be getting ripped off, that’s for sure. The movie business is definitely NOT in recession, as far as I can tell from these figures. Maybe the TV and DVD business is going down the tubes, but not the movie business.
Stay tuned for what is sure to be another highly-anticipated weekend next week as Twilight and Bolt both roll out to what looks like big, blockbuster openings.