Skyfall Has the Biggest Opening Weekend for a Bond Movie Ever

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 12 2012 10:09 AM

Skyfall Has Biggest Opening for Bond Movie Ever

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Daniel Craig in Skyfall

Photo byFrancois Duhamel– ©2012 - Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Even after adjusting for inflation, Skyfall, entry no. 23 in the James Bond film franchise, had the biggest opening weekend at the American box office for any 007 movie ever, taking in nearly $90 million since Friday. This is after it set a record at the U.K. box office, besting not only other Bond movies but every other film to open in that country save the final Harry Potter installment.

Of course, for the first couple decades of Bond movies—Dr. No began the series in 1962—opening on 3,505 screens, as Skyfall did, would have been unheard of. Jaws, often credited with pioneering the "wide release," opened in 465 theaters in 1975.

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Still, it's an impressive debut, possibly helped by the media attention the Bond filim franchise has received in its 50th anniversary year—as well as the generally good reviews Skyfall has gotten (even if our own Bond expert, Isaac Chotiner, says it's fairly middling, as 007 movies go). At this point, even a randomly generated Bond movie would probably do pretty well at the box office, though—especially if its numbers were goosed by those pricey IMAX ticket sales.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.