If the Daniel Craig James Bond weren't so grim, he'd be fist-bumping M.
Quantum of Solace, the latest all-business Bond, put up a record debut for a 007 movie: $70.4 million, per estimates today.
Optimistic projections for Quantum, the 22nd Bond adventure, had the movie opening at $50-60 million. By hitting $70 million, the movie blew away the franchise's previous best opener—2002's Die Another Day, the final Pierce Brosnan Bond—and showed Jason Bourne who's box-office king of the spy genre, at least this weekend. (The biggest Bourne opener, 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum, debuted with $69.3 million.)
Quantum got out of the gate with a $27 million Friday that bested the opening days of summer hits such as Sex and the City and WALL-E. The haul helped bring the movie's worldwide gross to about $322 million by the end of the weekend.
Impressive? Yes. Just don't expect Bond to crack a grin.
Some more factoids and findings from the weekend box office:
- If Bond really wants to show Bourne what's what, Quantum will have to outgross The Bourne Ultimatum, which is easier typed than done. Ultimatum made $227.5 million overall.
- Week-two holdovers Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa ($36.1 million) and Role Models ($11.7 million) were solid runners-up to Quantum. Neither movie dropped by even 45 percent.
- No, Zac Efron probably can't go anywhere without drawing a crowd. Overall, the internationally worshipped High School Musical 3: Senior Year ($5.9 million) has grossed more overseas ($110.4 million) than here ($84.4 million), per Box Office Mojo.
- Kirk Cameron has found common ground with Deep Throat. With Fireproof ($1.3 million) moving past $30 overall, it becomes one of only six micro-budgeted movies in Hollywood history to surpass that amount, per the stats at The-Numbers.com. The other $500,000 or less wonders? The Blair Witch Project, Napoleon Dynamite, the original Halloween, the original Benji, and, yes, the X-rated Deep Throat.
- Eagle Eye ($1.5 million) fell out of the Top 10 after seven weekends. At $98.8 million overall so far, the movie should be Shia LaBeouf's first $100 million-plus hit as a leading man, as opposed to as a sidekick to Indiana Jones or Optimus Prime.
- Before this weekend, 21 films released this year had grossed at least $90 million. Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($1.5 million) made it 22.
- Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire was the James Bond of the limited-release circuit, grossing $350,434 at 10 theaters.
Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
- Quantum of Solace, $70.4 milliion
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, $36.1 million
- Role Models, $11.7 million
- High School Musical 3: Senior Year, $5.9 million
- Changeling, $4.2 million
- Zack and Miri Make a Porno, $3.2 million
- Soul Men, $2.43 million
- The Secret Life of Bees, $2.4 million
- Saw V, $1.8 million
- The Haunting of Molly Hartley, $1.6 million