Sunday, November 16, 2008


After performing to sold out crowds and record-breaking grosses in Europe for the last two weeks, it is no surprise to see Bond debut atop the charts with QUANTUM OF SOLACE, the 22nd film in the franchise. After the success of CASINO ROYALE and overwhelmingly positive response to Daniel Craig’s new Bond for the new age, it is also no surprise that QUANTUM OF SOLACE commanded the biggest opening weekend for any Bond film in history. But Bond’s $70 million haul still managed to surpass most industry expectations and actually beat out Jason Bourne’s last opening weekend haul. That, people definitely did not see coming.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM debuted last August to $69 million and while QUANTUM OF SOLACE only narrowly surpassed that number, no one expected it to come close. With its $20K per screen average, Bond collected more than the rest of the Top 5 combined. Reviews have been mixed but audiences were craving two things that Bond delivered fully, action and franchise. Each Bond film has done better than its predecessor with rare exception and QUANTUM OF SOLACE is certainly going to have no difficulties accomplishing this same feat. Craig and the entire Bond crew have proven beyond a doubt that you can reinvigorate a long running franchise without alienating the people who kept you going for so long. Martinis shaken and not stirred for everyone!

Dreamworks’ MADAGASCAR sequel easily crossed the $100 million mark in its second weekend. Last time Bond premiered, he had to settle for second place to a bunch of dancing penguins (HAPPY FEET) but no toon could keep him down this time. MADAGASCAR’s drop was somewhat steep but the sequel is outpacing the first hit by $18 million, ensuring that many more entirely implausible scenarios for these zoo animals will inevitably arrive and that David Schwimmer will continue to get work and not got hungry.

This week’s Top 10 saw no other major debut, as any studio head stupid enough to open a major release opposite James Bond would likely be fired shortly after his announcement. The most significant release past Bond is the audience favorite, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Danny Boyle picked up the people’s choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival this year and is riding a wave of amazing reviews toward what could be the most successful film of his career. The advance Oscar buzz certainly doesn’t hurt either. On just 10 screens, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE pulled in $350K for a per screen average that outpaced Bond’s by $15K. Who knows? Maybe Danny Boyle could end up directing the next Bond. Go ahead, get that rumour out there.

NEXT WEEK: Originally, next weekend belonged to the next Harry Potter chapter but with that safely moved to some time next summer, the doors have been left wide open for two drastically different wide releases. Disney has high hopes for BOLT, featuring the voices of John Travolta and Hannah Montana, I mean, Miley Cyrus. And Stephanie Meyer fans will finally be able to see how Hollywood has handled their precious TWILIGHT. Vampires, talking dogs and tons of people under the age of 17 … should be good times.


Matt Belanger said...

My money is on Bolt for next week. No contest. Twilight is going to bomb compared to what people are expecting. It looks like shit. Good marketing for shit can only go so far.

Black Sheep said...

I would have to agree with you. I just hope we don't end up with a bloody surprise. Yuk, yuk.