There's no doubt that the new James Bond flick will dominate the box office this weekend. But exactly how massive will "Skyfall" be? After all, it's already made nearly $300 million overseas. So how will it do in North America?
Daniel Craig is back as 007, Adele provided the theme song, and 93 percent of critics endorsed the film as of press time, according to Rotten Tomatoes. All of which will add up to a winning formula for the 23rd entry in the enduring franchise.
Box-office prognosticators contacted by MTV News this week predicted a windfall between $75 million and $85 million this weekend. " 'Skyfall' has all the classic components that people want in a Bond film," said IMDB's Keith Simanton, who gave the film an 8 out of 10. "It's as if Sony/MGM/the Broccolis said, 'OK, we've deconstructed him, let's reconstruct him!'"
MovieFanatic.com's Joel Amos was similarly enthusiastic. "Not only have fans had to wait four years for a new Bond movie, but the solid critical response has been almost universal," he pointed out.
No other studio was brave enough to go up against Bond. "Skyfall" is the only new movie in wide release. "It is becoming increasingly more common for studios to roll out blockbuster films in international markets before domestic these days," noted Jeff Bock, box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. "With 007's huge overseas numbers trumping all box-office news in the U.S. the last two weekends, there is certainly fervor over here. And that box-office buzz can only help punch up the grosses Stateside, as Bond's latest adventure is the second in a row of the series to open wide without any competition."
Stephen Spielberg's "Lincoln," which focuses primarily on the passage of the 13th Amendment, will open in extremely limited release in just a dozen locations. "Lincoln" should make a little over $1 million with a per-screen average around $100,000. "Don't worry; it truly is the best film about Abraham Lincoln this year," said Bock. "That means if you didn't like 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' you'll probably really enjoy this one.
"With demographics skewing towards much older adults, this will be a very difficult sell for a brand like Disney," he added. "Think 'War Horse' numbers. Spielberg's last film topped out at $80 million domestically and rang up $177 million worldwide.
Last weekend's #1 movie, the arcade-themed "Wreck-it-Ralph," won't gather nearly as many quarters as before. Industry experts expect a decline in the 40-percent range, with the second weekend for "Ralph" coming in between $28 and $35 million.
Strong word of mouth will allow Denzel Washington's "Flight" to continue to soar. " 'Flight' has been a huge success for Paramount and Robert Zemeckis," said Bock. "At a cost of just $31 million, it's already made its budget back in just seven days of release. Expect a minimal drop in cabin pressure, as it coasts to a third place finish with an estimated $16.5 million."
Which film will have the best shot at taking Bond down after "Skyfall" rules the box office? Why, a little movie called "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," of course. But as BoxOffice.com's Phil Contrino pointed out, there are plenty of bucks to go around for each mega franchise. "It's obviously not ideal to have two huge films open so close to each other," he said. "But 'Skyfall' and 'Breaking Dawn' are aimed at completely different audiences. There's not a whole lot of overlap."
Amos saw a future filled with a game of musical chairs. "Given the passion Twi-hards have for their series, the final Twilight film will keep Bond's consecutive run at #1 to only one week. But what will be fascinating is the week after, I expect Bond to move back to the top spot as all the Twilight fans likely will witness their final chapter in that first week."
Get ready for "Twilight" Takeover this Saturday and Sunday! Host Josh Horowitz will treat fans to exclusive interviews with Kristen, Rob, Taylor and the rest of the vampire saga cast. Whether it's looking back on their first days on set or their craziest Movie Awards memories, we've got you covered all weekend throughout MTV's scheduled programming.