Box Office Preview: For 007, The Rest of the World is Not Enough

This week, we only have one new movie in wide release but it’s a doozy, being the first James Bond movie in four years, the 23rd official movie in the franchise and the one that marks the 50th Anniversary of Ian Fleming’s super-spy 007 in film. Skyfall (MGM/Sony) is directed by Sam Mendes, who first gained recognition Stateside with his feature film debut American Beauty and also had success with the follow-up Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks, and the war movie Jarhead, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Returning for the third time is Daniel Craig, the British actor who took on the 007 mantle for 2006′s Casino Royale, which became the highest-grossing movie of the series domestically (second-highest globally). Craig has quickly become one of the definitive Bonds, being featured in video games and even at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London a few months back. Since the last Bond movie, Craig has appeared in four non-Bond films with DreamWorks’ Cowboys & Aliens and David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo both being $100 million grossers domestically, while Jim Sheridan’s thriller Dream House, released between the two and co-starring Craig’s wife Rachel Weisz, was a bomb.

Besides the returning Dame Judi Dench, playing M for the seventh time going back to GoldenEye, the 23rd Bond outing brings in three well-established actors including Naomie Harris, best known for her roles in 28 Days Later and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, Oscar winner Javier Bardem playing the latest Bond villain Silva, and Ralph Fiennes, a two-time Oscar nominee,

The movie has already been a huge hit in other parts of the world, surpassing the opening of Quantum of Solace in the UK and other places and grossing $100 million in less than a week internationally. One potential problem is that having the movie out in so many other parts of the world means that pirated copies of the movie may be readily available for those who don’t want to shell out $10 plus for the theater experience, but fortunately, this is a movie that people will want to see with an audience on the biggest screen possible so it shouldn’t have too much of an effect.

Some American moviegoers may be slightly skittish about rushing out to see Skyfall considering the generally negative reaction to Quantum of Solace, but reviews for this one have been overwhelmingly positive with 95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and many critics declaring this to be the best Bond movie ever.

As we suggested with our Long Distance Box Office Prediction last month, Skyfall should set an opening record in the States for the franchise with between $73 and 76 million, possibly even more with theaters recovering following the effects of Hurricane Sandy and many moviegoers itching to get out of the house. As we said before, we’re convinced this will be the first Bond movie to cross the $200 million mark as well, probably making as much as $220 million by year’s end.

NOTE: We forgot to mention that it was opening in IMAX theaters on Thursday, December 7 (today!), and we think that it should be worth for another $3 million on top of our weekend prediction below.

Review

Interview with Sam Mendes

Video Interview with Daniel Craig

Video Interview with Javier Bardem

This weekend last year saw the release of Tarsem Singh’s Green God action epic Immortals (Relativity Media), starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Kellan Lutz and Mickey Rourke, which became the fledgling distributor’s biggest hit with $32.3 million in 3,112 theaters to take first place. Adam Sandler faced his greatest challenge, teaming with Adam Sandler in drag for the comedy Jack and Jill (Sony), which opened in second place with $25 million in roughly 300 more theaters than Immortals, which could be seen as a disappointment compared to Sandler’s other hits. After a limited release on Wednesday, Clint Eastwood’s biopic J. Edgar (Warner Bros.), starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the man responsible for the FBI, opened nationwide into 1,900 theaters where it grossed $11.2 million to take fifth place. The Top 10 grossed $124 million and since we expect Skyfall to be the biggest opening movie since The Dark Knight Rises in July, we think that this week will surpass that amount by 8% or more.

This Week’s Updated Predictions -

1. Skyfall (MGM/Sony) – $73.8 million N/A (same)

2. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) – $31.4 million -36% (same)

3. Flight (Paramount) – $16.0 million -35% (up .4 million)

4. Argo (Warner Bros.) – $7.0 million -30% (down .1 million)

5. The Man with the Iron Fists (Universal) – $3.8 million -52%

6. Taken 2 (20th Century Fox) – $3.3 million -45%

7. Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.) – $2.8 million -47% (Up .2 million)

8. Hotel Transylvania (Sony Pictures) – $2.6 million -43%

9. Paranormal Activity 4 (Paramount) – $2.0 million -53%

10. Here Comes the Boom (Sony) – $1.9 million -45%

For this week’s “CHOSEN ONE”, we’ll probably have to go with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (DreamWorks). Although we haven’t had a chance to see the final version of the movie–thanks Sandy–you can read our early thoughts on the movie here. In our opinion, it’s the best movie Spielberg has made since Munich and it’s much different from the standard biopic that some may be expecting. It opens in select cities on Friday and then opens nationwide next Friday, November 16.

As major fans of the documentary genre, we’re very excited about the upcoming DOC-NYC, which runs from November 8 to 15 at the IFC Center and SVA Theater in New York City. They’ve scored a number of major world and US premieres as well as great Opening Night galas like Jared Leto’s Artifact and Maiken Baird and Michelle Major’s Venus and Serena, which received quite a bit of acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival, as did the Closing Night gala, The Central Park Five (out on November 23) directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, which looks at the 1989 incident in which five black and Latino teenagers were arrested for the rape and brutal beating of a jogger in Central Park. Another one of the movies we saw and are really excited about is Can’t Stand Losing You, Andy Grieve and Lauren Lazin’s adaptation of guitarist Andy Summers’ memoir of his time spent with The Police, both in the ‘80s and their recent reunion tour. It’s part of the festivals “Sonic Cinema” track, which is made up of music docs–which is you’ve been reading this, you already know how much we love them–and it includes movies about Big Star, David Bromberg, and Rufus Wainwright. We’re also excited that director Michael Apted is back with 56 Up, his eighth movie in the series that follows the life of a number of British youths over the course of their lives starting at 7 years old. You can learn more about the annual doc festival and get tickets to all the above and many more here.

GIVEAWAY! Good news.. we were just given 3 pairs of tickets for the Police doc Can’t Stand Losing You with guitarist Andy Summers in attendance, taking place at the SVA Theater in New York on Friday, November 9 at 7PM. The first three people to Email me at WARRIOR AT COMINGSOON DOT NET (just replace the “at” and “dot” with the appropriate symbols) with the name of ANY SINGLE ALBUM BY THE POLICE will win a pair of tickets. Please make sure you’re in the United States and will be in New York on Friday night to see the movie.

Denmark’s selection for the Oscar foreign language category is Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair (Magnolia), a look at the lives of 18th Century Danish royalty with Alicia Vikander playing a young woman from England married to the deranged king of Denmark who finds solace in the arms of his German doctor, played by Mads Mikkelsen. It opens in New York, L.A. and Chicago on Friday and then expands into more cities on November 16 and 21 and into December. You can find out where it’s playing here.

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Adult Swim’s “Tim & Eric Awesome Show” star in Rick Alverson’s The Comedy (Tribeca Films) with the former playing Swanson, a Brooklyn hipster with a dying father who spends his time with friends (including James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem) joking around, playing games and not taking anything too seriously until one day he decides he needs a change. Heidecker gives a decent performance, one that’s far more watchable than anything in their Billion Dollar Movie from earlier this year, but he’s playing a hugely annoying character so it was hard to really like the movie since it takes him a long time for him to show anything approaching a redeeming quality, and his friends are even worse. Having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and currently on VOD, it opens in Los Angeles on Friday at Cinefamily and at Brooklyn, New York’s BAMCinematek on November 16 and in other cities throughout November. You can see a full release schedule here.

Director Jin-ho Hur adapts the French novel Dangerous Liaisons (Well Go USA) but setting it in 1930s Shanghai starring Cecilia Cheung, Zhang Ziyi and Jang Dong-kun, with Cheung playing an aging socialite still in love with her womanizing ex-boyfriend, who is more interested in other women. It opens in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Toronto and Vancouver on Friday.

Prince of Broadway director Sean Baker’s Starlet (Music Box Films) stars Dree Hemingway as a 21-year-old who befriends an 85-year-old widow named Sadie (Besedka Johnson) she encounters in the San Fernando Valley, who spends her time alone tending her flower garden. When Jane finds a stash of money after a confrontation at Sadie’s yard sale, she tries to befriend the woman to find out where it came from.

Todd Rohal’s comedy Nature Calls (Magnet Releasing) stars Patton Oswalt as Scoutmaster Randy Stevens who takes his troop to a slumber party hosted by his brother (and arch-rival) Kirk, played by Johnny Knoxville, leading to all sorts of chaos. Also starring Rob Riggle, Patrice O’Neal, Maura Tierny and Darrell Hammond, it opens in New York and Los Angeles follows its nominal Magnolia VOD run.

Selma Blair and Joshua Close star in Jeremy Power Regimbal’s In their Skin (IFC Midnight) as a couple who escape to their isolated country home only to encounter a man whose obsession with perfection leads to a violent struggle. After playing at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, it will play in select cities.

Just in time for the week after Halloween is David Raynr’s Christmas in Compton (Barnholtz Entertainment) starring Keith David as Big Earl, owner of a Christmas tree lot in Compton, California, whose son Derrick (Omar Gooding) is a music producer who tries to prove to his father he can be run the lot on his own as trouble rises up a week before Christmas. It opens in New York, L.A., Dallas, Philly and Atlanta on Friday.

Also, as a reminder, last week’s CHOSEN ONE, Jean-Marc Vallée’s drama Café de Flore (Adopt Films) will open in New York and Los Angeles, having been delayed from last week. You can read about that movie here.

Also airing this week on VOD is David Barrett’s Fire With Fire (Lionsgate), starring Josh Duhamel and Bruce Willis, with the former playing a firefighter who witnesses murders and is put into a witness protection program while he tries to get his life back together.

Next week, it’s the movie you’ve all been waiting for! The very last movie in the vampire-werewolf romantic love triangle that has had teenage girls well into their 50s all agog and that is The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Summit Entertainment). It’s going to make a lot of money regardless of what we say, but we’re looking forward to seeing if our prediction has changed much since our Long Distance Box Office Prediction. Also, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (DreamWorks) expands nationwide.

You can read more stuff like this and regular box office, awards and festival coverage on the new Weekend Warrior Blog and to keep up with the latest articles and posts, you can follow us on Twitter.

Copyright 2012 Edward Douglas

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