"Quantum of Solace" set to blast box offices
By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Even before new James Bond flick "Quantum of Solace" blasts into U.S. movie theaters this Friday, industry watchers are expecting it to earn big bucks at box offices and easily top previous 007 film "Casino Royale."
The film is the 22nd in the lucrative series that dates to 1962's "Dr. No" and altogether has grossed over $4 billion at U.S. and Canadian box offices when totals are adjusted for inflation, according to boxofficemojo.com.
"Quantum of Solace," in which the British secret agent battles a villain looking to control natural resources, already has topped box office charts in Europe and other markets.
It debuted in London about two weeks ago, and took in a record-breaking 15.4 million pounds ($25 million) on its opening weekend. So far, it has collected more than $160 million in over 60 international markets.
"This is arguably the most anticipated movie of the holiday season and therefore expectations are quite high," said Paul Dergarabedian of box office watcher Media by Numbers. "I think we are going to see tremendous numbers."
Dergarabedian did not predict an opening weekend figure, but he said "Quantum of Solace" was "certainly on track" to equal or beat "Casino Royale," which debuted with $40.8 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales in November of 2006.
"Casino Royale" introduced actor Daniel Craig as the new James Bond and went on to become arguably the biggest Bond ever with $167 million in the U.S. and Canada and another $426 million internationally for a global total near $594 million.
Dergarabedian noted U.S. box offices have been on a roll lately with five of the past six weekends beating year ago comparisons. Last weekend family film "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" opened to an eye-popping $63 million. Continued...