Daniel Craig’s third turn as 007 James Bond in director Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is off to a hot start at the North American box office after burning up overseas markets with $321 million in ticket sales and counting.
At Thursday midnight screenings, Skyfall pulled in $2.4 million from theatrical showings and another $2.2 million from IMAX screens. The $4.6 midnight opening is surprisingly high for this time of year, and gives Skyfall a healthy head start on dominating the weekend results.
Daniel Craig first stepped into the shoes of James Bond in the 2006 film Casino Royale. That 007 outing opened to $40.8 million from 3,434 locations. It’s sequel, Quantum of Solace, opened at almost the same number of theaters but racked up $67.5 million during its first three days of release.
Current projections place Skyfall’s opening weekend tally somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 million from 3,505 theaters. I suspect it will top $80 million as buzz about the film continues to spread. A CinemaScore rating of anything less than an “A” would be surprising and a letdown.
Critics have showered Skyfall with almost unanimous praise judging by its 93 percent approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus is Skyfall is the most entertaining Daniel Craig James Bond film yet, and ranks up with the best Bond films to ever grace the silver screen.
Stop back Saturday for Skyfall’s Friday box office studio estimates which will offer a clearer indication of where the film will end up through Sunday.