UPDATED: This weekend’s big box office news was overseas: MGM/Sony’s Quantum Of Solace, the 22nd James Bond motion picture, had record-setting launches in the UK, France and Sweden this weekend. Total Fri-Sat-Sun take was $38.6 million on 2,123 prints, generating more than $18,000 per print. The pic expands into 57 additional markets next weekend. But Bond made box office history on its opening day in the UK, taking a staggering £4.9 million and making it the biggest Friday opening of all time. This shattered the previous record held by Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, which took £4.0m. The latest 007 installment, which claims to be the longest running franchise in film history (if you don’t count Godzilla or Tarzan), also beat the opening day figure of £2.9m for Casino Royale, the first to star Daniel Craig. Quantum Of Solace did £15.4 million for its UK weekend launch and the biggest standard 3-day opening of all time there, passing Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire‘s £14.934 million. This is 35% bigger than the £11.4 million launch of Casino Royale and a massive 70% of the UK box office this weekend. France’s weekend estimate of €8.2 million beat Casino Royale‘s 5-day €7.0 by 16% for the biggest Bond launch ever there, and in just 3 days. MGM/Sony expect Quantum to have three great days ahead in France, with the All Saint’s holiday school break running through November 5th. And Sweden’s 18.1 million SEK 3-day weekend is that country’s 4th biggest FSS ever, behind only Lord of the Rings 3 (20.4), and 31% more than Casino Royale‘s 13.821 million SEK launch. The 22nd Bond will release in the U.S. on November 14th and its first choice tracking was almost double what it was for Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond in Casino Royale. But this is 007 without the established Bond cliches and stereotypes. Reviewers said the current Bond movie looked more like Bond-as-Bourne since it dropped Moneypenny, dropped Q, dropped the wit, dropped the gadgets, and dropped the line “The name is Bond, James Bond”.
That said, rival studio chatter says this may be the costliest film ever made minute by minute: $261 million for a 105-minute movie, which comes out to almost $2.5 million per minute. (As opposed to, say, the $300M pricetag for 165-minute-long Pirates Of The Caribbean 3.) But Sony sources say that number is “off base by more than $60M. Plus we have tax credits from filming.” Produced for EON Productions by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the 22nd Bond was directed by Marc Forster with screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Oscar-winner Paul Haggis. The film picks up the storyline just one hour after the end of Casino Royale, marking the first direct sequel produced by EON Productions/Danjaq, LLC, which is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced 21 Bond films since 1962.