The latest installment in the James Bond franchise could outperform every other Bond film ever released. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Skyfall," which marks Daniel Craig's third outing as the iconic 007, is expected to gross a whopping $75-$80 million in its opening weekend.
Based on box office records, the critically acclaimed action flick will likely become the highest grossing Bond film of all time. The last two 007 films, "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace," took in $40 million an $67 million, respectively, during their opening weekends. The films went on to earn $167 million and $169 million, respectively -- making them the most financially successful films in the Bond series.
"Skyfall," which was one of the most anticipated films of the year, has already grossed an impressive $320 million since it was released overseas last month -- already outgrossing any of the 22 previous films in the series.
The projected success of the film may be partly due to Craig's unique take on Bond. Though some Bond fans expressed skepticism when Craig's casting as Bond was announced, many film critics now credit him with breathing new life into the 50-year-old series. The classically trained stage actor made his Bond debut in the 2006 hit "Casino Royale."
While Bond is largely known to be a suave womanizer and skilled killer, Craig brought a sense of humility to the role.
This is largely due to the fact that "Casino Royal" is based on Ian Flemming's first Bond novel, which follows the spy's first tasks as an MI6 agent. Craig captures his inexperience and emotional conflicts in a way that previous Bond actors have not.
"Daniel Craig makes a superb Bond," Roger Ebert said of Craig's performance. "Leaner, more taciturn, less sex-obsessed, able to be hurt in body and soul, not giving a damn if his martini is shaken or stirred."
Craig's relatively realistic portrayal of Bond has been considered a timely interpretation of the beloved character.
"Every generation gets the Bond it deserves if not necessarily desires, Manohla Dargis of the New York Times said in a review of the film, "and with his creased face and uneasy smile, Mr. Craig fits these grim times well."
"Skyfall" hits theaters on Friday and stars Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Albert Finney.