Daniel Craig’s billion-dollar triumph as James Bond in Skyfall has proven its global dominance once again by rocketing towards 112 million Yuan (US$18 million) in just two weeks according to the trusted figures from Dianyingpiaofangba.
At such speed, Skyfall will comfortably overcome the earnings of Quantum of Solace (which took 143 million yuan/US$23 million in 2008) to become the highest-grossing Bond film to be released in China. Casino Royale, the first of the three Daniel Craig-starring entries, took 92 million yuan (US$14.8 million). Skyfall has already taken US$1.04 billion in ticket sales worldwide, and China will be the film’s last major market to open in.
Strong word-of-mouth reviews online have driven Skyfall’s strong showing, despite some criticism in the Chinese blogosphere about a scene – of a French assassin shooting a Chinese security guard on his way to completing a hit – being removed and on-screen mentions of prostitution and state-sponsored torture obscured in Chinese subtitles.
This is yet another massive victory for the James Bond franchise and a excellent example of how quality filmmaking does not need to rely on 3D conversions and premium prices in order to maximise its box-office potential.
Daniel Craig has been a complete revelation as the iconic 007; his gritty and hard-as-nails approach has quashed any cheesy clichés that have plagued the character over previous decades. However, the bar has now been set so high, the filmmakers are faced with the daunting prospect of raising it even higher, and anything less will unfortunately be deemed a disappointment.