Friday, November 2, 2012

Skyfall's American Opening and Global Earnings Prospects

Skyfall has blazed past the $100 million mark and is still going stronger than Quantum of Solace at the same point in its theatrical run - with the U.S. opening still a week away. Grady Smith reports that the film is now expected to gross $90 million or more in its first weekend. This is undeniably bullish, assuming a performance at least 25 percent stronger than Quantum's was, even after inflation. Still, this is not out of line with what has been happening elsewhere in the world.

Assume the $90 million take happens, and amounts to a quite plausible forty percent of the gross in its American run. This suggests that the film will earn $225 million in ticket sales at the U.S. box office. Assume the American gross makes up thirty percent of the film's global gross (again, a plausible figure given the series' history). This suggests a final global tally in the $750 million range.

In other words: it seems nearly certain the movie will break $600 million, quite likely that it will break $700 million, and not very surprising if it gets past $800 million, which would not only be a new peak for the post-reboot era, but make Skyfall the series' biggest hit since Live and Let Die way back in 1973 (itself behind only Thunderball and Goldfinger). The Bondmania of the '60s may not be coming back, nor '60s-era profits for EON (given the much lower budgets of those earlier films), but the era's spectacular grosses just might this time around.1

1. Dr. No cost a little over $1 million to produce and earned $59 million in ticket sales - about 50 times its cost. The series' budgets rose very quickly, but Thunderball cost $5.5 million and grossed $141 million, over 25 times its cost. For the $150 million Skyfall to do the same the film would have to earn a nearly impossible $4 billion.

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