Skyfall passes $1 billion milestone worldwide
If studio estimates are on target, the latest James Bond thriller has passed the $1 billion milestone at the worldwide box office. Directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty), and starring Daniel Craig in the old Sean Connery / Roger Moore /George Lazenby / Timothy Dalton / Pierce Brosnan role of the indefatigable British secret agent, the mostly well-received Skyfall has reached $1,000,200,000 at Planet Earth's box office. The vast majority of that billion came from outside North America: $710.6 million (71 percent) internationally vs. $289.6 million (29 percent) in the U.S. and Canada according to Box Office Mojo. Note: Skyfall has yet to open in China. (Photo: Daniel Craig as James Bond on the Skyfall set.)
For comparison's sake: the previous two James Bond movies, both starring Daniel Craig, were Martin Campbell's Casino Royale and Marc Forster's Quantum of Solace. The former grossed $594.23 million worldwide; the latter took in $586.09m. And ignoring inflation and currency fluctuations, Skyfall is no. 14 ever at the worldwide box office. Two other 2012 releases remain ahead: Joss Whedon / Chris Evans / Chris Hemsworth's The Avengers, with a 3D-surcharge-boosted $1.511 billion, and Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight Rises, with $1.081 billion. (See also: "Box Office: Skyfall to Become the Most Successful James Bond Movie Ever?")
Skyfall: The United Kingdom's biggest box office hit of the last decade
Outside the U.S. and Canada combo, Skyfall's top market was the United Kingdom / Ireland combo, with an astounding $158.36 million as of Dec. 16. Skyfall is not only (by far) the UK's biggest box office hit of the year, but also of the last decade, even adjusting for inflation. For comparison's sake: The Dark Knight Rises cumed at $90.26m; North America's biggest 2012 blockbuster, The Avengers, grossed $80.56m; James Cameron / Sam Worthington's 3D sci-fier Avatar scored $150.02m; and David Yates / Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 earned $117.22m. Note: the last three movies had the advantage of box-office-inflating 3D surcharges.
The UK was followed by (mostly up to Dec. 16): Germany, with $77.11m; France, with $56.79m; Australia, with $39.36m; Russia / CIS, with $25.18m; The Netherlands, with $21.16m; Japan, with $18.94m; Italy, with $16.78m; Sweden, with $16.25m; South Korea, with $16.05m; Brazil, with $14.55m; and Denmark, with $14.11m.
Skyfall particularly successful in northern latitudes
The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark aren't countries usually found in lists of biggest international box office territories. The fact that all three are featured here, indicates that, relatively speaking, Skyfall was most successful in Europe's northern two-thirds — in other words, in Europe's non-Mediterranean countries.
Here is another example: with $12.71 million, Skyfall was 2012's no. 2 movie in Norway. The James Bond flick trailed only that country's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Kon-Tiki, which collected $14.1m. For comparison's sake: In Norway, The Avengers took in a relatively modest $6.36m. Now, Norway's Blockbuster to End All Blockbusters of this past decade was, you guessed it, Phyllida Lloyd / Meryl Streep / Amanda Seyfried's ABBA-scored Mamma Mia!, with $16.75 million in 2008.
In Finland, Skyfall is the top 2012 release by a wide margin: $8.14 million vs. runner-up Ice Age: Continental Drift with $3.8m. In fact, Skyfall is Finland's second biggest movie of the last ten years (adjusted for inflation), behind only Peter Jackson / Elijah Wood / Viggo Mortensen's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (about $8.6 million today).
Skyfall: Greece an exception of sorts
In Portugal, however, Skyfall was no. 5 on the 2012 box office list, behind three animated features (Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, and Brave) and Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. In Italy, Skyfall is the year's eighth biggest hit. In Spain, it's no. 13, having grossed less than half the amount earned by Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Admittedly: In Greece, Skyfall is the no. 1 box office hit this year, with $5.71m. However, the latest James Bond movie trails several other titles released since 2004 — sometimes by a wide margin. Among the movies well ahead of Skyfall are Avatar, with $10.64 million, Mamma Mia!, with $7.39 million, Zack Snyder / Gerard Butler's 300, with $11.37 million (this slice of nationalistic propaganda has an Ancient Greece theme), Ron Howard / Tom Hanks / Audrey Tautou's The Da Vinci Code, with $6.64m; Wolfgang Petersen / Brad Pitt's Troy, with $7.27 million (Ancient Greece again); and Nicos Perakis' army comedy Loafing and Camouflage: Sirens in the Aegean / Loufa kai parallegi, with $11.68m.
In addition to Daniel Craig, the Skyfall cast includes Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Albert Finney, Helen McCrory, Nicholas Woodeson, Ola Rapace, and Rory Kinnear. The Skyfall screenplay is credited to John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade.
Skyfall Daniel Craig as James Bond photo: Sony Pictures.