The release of Spectre is finally upon us in North America.
Thus far critics have (predictably) been more ambivalent about the latest Bond film than its predecessor. To go by my decidedly unscientific sampling of the published reviews, praise for the action sequences seems universal, while the visual style more generally has been remarked. However, the film has (unsurprisingly given the Sony leaks from last year) been criticized for its plotting, which to go by the more caustic, has been loose and illogical even by Bondian standards. The movie's length and crowdedness seem to be taking their toll, with the backstory especially falling flat. And as a whole, the novelty of the reboot seems to be fading.
None of this prevented Spectre from enjoying a sensational first week at the British box office, during which it earned a record $67 million. Of course, more screens and IMAX did their part as Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione notes--and so, one might imagine, did inflation--but all the same, given how big Skyfall was, topping it on just about any terms bodes very well for it. Spectre also seems to have topped the prior Bond film in the Netherlands, and across Scandinavia.
Still, other markets are tougher, not least that of the United States, where nothing like a record weekend is expected. Indeed, Spectre is expected to pull in some $65-75 million in its first three days, healthy for a movie of this kind, but a far cry from the $200 million openings enjoyed by Jurassic World and Avengers earlier this year, or even the $90 million that Skyfall scored three years ago. And there is little reason to think the movie will have exceptional legs at the American box office.
That still leaves the movie on track to take in $200 million at the least, with a figure closer to $250 million at the least plausible, but the drop from last time's $304 million take is too large to overlook. However, it is easy to see any diminution of the movie's American earnings offset by the higher revenue already coming in from elsewhere, and also likely to come in the weeks ahead--like China, where Spectre's significantly bettering the $59 million take Skyfall enjoyed in that country is easily pictured. Consequently, when the last receipts have been counted, I expect that even if the new movie misses the billion-dollar mark, it will not be by much.
The Best James Bond Novels, After Fleming
James Bond's Identity
My Posts on Spectre
Just Out. . . (James Bond's Evolution)
Just Out . . . (The Forgotten James Bond)