Weekend Box Office: ‘Skyfall’ Tops International Markets

Director Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, opened to huge numbers in 25 different international markets, according to Coming Soon. Over the course of the weekend, the film brought in an impressive $77 million.

The 23rd entry in the long-running series brought in $32.4 million at the UK box office alone, placing it behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 as the biggest opening weekend on the books. If this weekend’s performance is any indication of the film’s Stateside reception, Skyfall could be a huge hit for the suits at MGM and Sony.

Rory Bruer, President of Worldwide Distribution at Sony Pictures, is expecting big things for the franchise. “This picture has such an incredible DNA and to be so loved by critics and audiences alike will push it be one of the biggest, if not biggest, Bond pics,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film’s IMAX performance has been impressive, as well. According to studio estimates, Skyfall earned $3.5 million from IMAX-equipped theaters from 79 theaters in 15 territories. This is reportedly the largest opening weekend total for a non-holiday, non-summer motion picture in the exhibitor’s history.

For those who haven’t been keeping up-to-date with the latest cinematic adventures of James Bond, here’s what Skyfall is about:

“James Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”

In addition to enjoying a strong opening weekend at the box office, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall has been relatively well-received from a number of top critics. At present, the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score sits 94 percent, though this likely to change once its screened for American critics.

Todd McCarthy, reviewer for The Hollywood Reporter, recently delivered a glowing review of Skyfall, calling it one of the important Bond films in the series. “Dramatically gripping while still brandishing a droll undercurrent of humor, this beautifully made film certainly will be embraced as one of the best Bonds by loyal fans worldwide and leaves you wanting the next one to turn up sooner than four years from now,” he explained.

While not nearly as blown away as his colleague, New York Daily News critic Joe Neumaier was clearly impressed with Sam Mendes’ effort. In his review, Neumaier described Skyfall as a “great high-voltage thriller that wears oh-so-lightly the grizzled grandeur 007 has earned.”

“Though a notch below ‘Royale,’ ‘Skyfall’ follows that reboot’s lead, making a now 50-year-old icon as cool as when he began,” he explained, adding that Adele’s theme song ranks as one of the finest Bond themes ever crafted.

Not only has Skyfall won over the critics, quite a few people have posted their 140-character responses to the film on Twitter. For the most part, it would seem that James Bond fans are pleased with where the series is headed.

Fortunately for fans of the James Bond franchise, the next installment could be lurking right around the corner. The Daily Mail explains that Bond 24 is already in pre-production, though little is currently known about the movie or its plot. The outline is reportedly a closely-guarded secret, one that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, writer screenwriter John Logan, and star Daniel Craig are keeping extremely close to their chests.

If everything goes according to plan, James Bond’s next big-budget cinematic adventure could begin shooting at Pinewood Studios in the autumn of 2013. Executives are currently eyeballing a late 2014 release date.

Director Sam Mendes Skyfall, which stars Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Berenice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw, and Albert Finney, is currently slated to open in the US on November 9. Are you planning to catch the latest James Bond film on the big screen next weekend?