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 worshippedHigh 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 million 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: