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Tag: James Bond (11-20 of 55)

'Skyfall' passes $1 billion worldwide

It’s official — we have reached the era of the billion dollar Bond!

Sony announced today that Skyfall has surpassed the $1 billion mark at the global box office, becoming just the 14th film in history to reach the coveted milestone.

The 23rd entry in the James Bond series has shattered every record in the franchise’s 50-year history. READ FULL STORY

Why is every superhero movie an origin story?

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The title of the movie might be Man of Steel, but the star of the latest clip from Zack Snyder’s franchise reboot isn’t actually Superman. It’s Clark Kent, the alien boy who grows up to be a (hipster-bearded!) man, learning along the way some tough lessons about power, responsibility, and the cost-benefit bottom line of using his super strength to save all his schoolmates from a submerged bus. Which makes it official: Man of Steel isn’t just going to be another superhero movie. It’s going to be everyone’s — yours, mine, Hollywood’s — favorite kind of superhero movie: an origin story.

Why exactly do we love watching our favorite heroes begin again (and again)? Do we get some kind of parental joy from seeing their tall-building-spanning baby steps? Were scientists right about the Twitterfication of our attention spans? Maybe, but there’s also a deeper-seated reason: creation stories show the exact moment when a normal guy goes from being Just Like Us to being somehow better, faster, stronger. It’s the bridge between the relatable and aspirational parts of the hero myth. It’s also a handy way for filmmakers to pay their dues to a brand’s fan base (“See? I know my stuff!”) before sending its character off on a splashy villain-fighting quest that might diverge wildly from anything in the sacred comic book canon.

And so, having found that origin stories are a handy narrative tool for kicking off a franchise, Hollywood decided that every superhero movie should be an origin story, dropping our spandex icons into a Groundhog Day loop of childhood traumas, first kisses, and clumsy jumps off high roofs. The intro portion that used to take 10 minutes at the beginning of a movie is now filling entire movies — franchises, even. READ FULL STORY

Why the James Bond franchise was made for the modern box office

Over the past weekend, Skyfall returned to the top of the box office and became the biggest hit in Sony Pictures’ history in the process. After five weekends, the Sam Mendes-directed action film had earned a franchise-high $261.8 million domestically. (For reference, the previous high-point was 2008’s Quantum of Solace, which grossed $168.4 million.)

It’s not often that a franchise this deep into its existence — 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the British spy’s first appearance on the silver screen — peaks at the box office. And in all reality, it’s only half accurate to call Skyfall the “peak.” Its record-setting gross does not account for inflation. (The series’ all-time high point was actually 1965’s Thunderball, which, according to BoxOfficeMojo, grossed a staggering $593.9 million when adjusted for inflation.)

Still, even accounting for inflation, Skyfall is already the fourth-highest-grossing Bond film ever, and its excellent performance both domestically and around the world reveals that the franchise is experiencing a major upswing. With a running worldwide total of $918 million — by far the highest total ever for a Bond film (Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale both topped out at $594 million) — and an opening in China still slated for early 2013, prognosticators expect Skyfall to become the first-ever billion-dollar Bond film. James Bond may be getting older, but Skyfall makes it clear that he’s still a major force to be reckoned with at the box office.

Most franchises don’t enjoy such longevity. It’s much more common for film series to start with gargantuan grosses and then face diminishing returns with every subsequent release. And yet, the James Bond series suddenly seems to be hitting its stride right now. Why is that? Because since its inception in the 1960s, the Bond franchise has been primed for success in today’s modern market. It seems to have been almost preternaturally constructed to succeed in 2012. The box office just had to catch up with Bond’s ahead-of-the-curve sensibilities. Here’s what I mean: READ FULL STORY

Critics' Choice Movie Awards -- What's your favorite film franchise? VOTE

Are you a fan of Batman? Or is Harry Potter more your taste? Do you prefer James Bond or Indiana Jones? Star Trek or Star Wars? Vote in the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards poll for your favorite film franchise, below! READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Making James Bond's slinky opening credits for 'Skyfall'

Music video and advertising director Daniel Kleinman has been creating the complex and abstract opening credit sequences for the James Bond movies since 1995’s GoldenEye. He sat out the titles for 2008’s Quantum of Solace, but he’s not surprised to be returning for his sixth go ’round crafting the slinky, smoky credits for this year’s Skyfall, with Adele’s hit title song as his soundtrack.

“The way it’s set up by the producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, it’s quite a family affair,” he says. “A lot of the same people get asked back onto the films on a regular basis. It makes it a nice project to do.” That loyalty cuts both ways: Kleinman’s credit sequence services are pretty much exclusive to the Bond franchise. “I’m not really a title sequence director per se,” he says. “I do it for James Bond because I was a fan when I was a kid, and I was always very taken with the Bond credits when I was at art school. Also, it’s James Bond. If one’s going to do any title or credit sequence at all, James Bond is the one to do.”

Here’s how he makes it happen. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012: 5 movies that stuck the landing

The Great Ending has become an unexpected casualty of Hollywood’s franchise era: Because a sequel is always strongly implied, the final moments of most big movies are now just temporary breaks in action, instead of definitive conclusions. But the movies on this list each left a mark, whether they ended with a bang or with a graceful coda. (One of them even managed to set the stage for a sequel and suggested the end of an emotional journey.) Here are our five favorite movie endings of 2012:

5. The Grey
“What? The film where Liam Neeson punches a wolf?” Well, yes and no. The most mismarketed movie of the year is actually a reflective examination of mortality — and it ends on a note that’s simultaneously ambiguous and fiercely life-affirming. READ FULL STORY

'Skyfall' opening credits plunges Daniel Craig's Bond into a watery, fiery void set to Adele -- VIDEO

Warning: If you haven’t seen Skyfall yet, there’s a video spoiler ahead!

It wouldn’t be a proper James Bond movie without opening titles packed full of twisting visuals accompanied by a plum tune. The opening sequence designed by Daniel Kleinman for Skyfall, which opened in theaters last Friday to a bonanza at the box office, definitely has visual extravagance to spare, scored to the throaty grit of Adele singing the title song. Check out the opening credits sequence, sans the actual credits, newly out online below. Similar in feel to the complex opening of David Fincher’s U.S. version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Skyfall’s opener starts off with sexy Daniel Craig as Bond plunged into water, his classic suit snug on his body, pulled down by a large hand into a sandy, swirling void. Guns and daggers fall from the sky into an Edward Gorey-esque graveyard, a closeup of Bond’s eye segues into him shooting at shadowy figures. Fiery targets shaped like Bond morph into Chinese dragons, and a totally 1960s throwback black-and-white kaleidoscope sequence features a long-haired naked beauty dancing with her hair flipping around and around into the air.

It’s dark, it’s dramatic, it’s Bond, and how. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Skyfall' has the biggest Bond opening ever with $87.8 million

After four years off of the silver screen, James Bond made his triumphant return this weekend in Skyfall — and the British spy’s appeal was bigger than ever.

The action thriller grossed a truly massive $87.8 million in its first three days (and an additional $2.2 million during Thursday night previews), making its debut the very best in the Bond series’ 23-film history — by a huge margin. Skyfall shattered the previous opening weekend record for a Bond film, which was set in 2008 when Quantum of Solace bowed with $67.5 million. With the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday on the horizon and a straight “A” CinemaScore grade, it’s likely that Skyfall will also become the first Bond movie to ever pass the $200 million mark at the domestic box office. (Of course, this is not accounting for inflation.)  READ FULL STORY

Movie Talk with Owen & Lisa: 'Skyfall' is 'the darkest James Bond movie'

Entertainment Weekly critics Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman are at odds over the latest Bond installment — Skyfall. “This is about the darkest James Bond film that I have ever seen. And for also, for me, one of the best,” Schwarzbaum says. But Gleiberman doesn’t feel the same. “I thought the whole ‘Is James Bond too old and out of date thing?’ in this movie, seemed like something they brought out of moth balls from other movies.” Watch their full discussion below!

READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Skyfall' headed for sky-high debut, but how big will it be?

It’s safe to say that Quantum of Solace wasn’t the most well-liked James Bond film. Of course, that didn’t stop it from earning $594 million worldwide, but given the tepid audience response, it seems logical that many casual Bond fans would feel uneasy about shelling out $12 for a ticket to the latest Daniel Craig vehicle. Fortunately for Sony, the world’s favorite British secret agent has always proved remarkably resilient at the box office, and if international grosses are any indication, it looks like Skyfall won’t suffer at all from Quantum‘s less-than-stellar reception. In fact, the 23rd Bond entry will almost certainly be the biggest one yet.

When Daniel Craig took over the iconic action franchise in 2006, not everyone was convinced that the blonde Bond would prove a box office draw. They were wrong. Casino Royale debuted to a sturdy $40.8 million on its way to a $167.4 million total. More importantly, it earned back audience trust, as it was one of the most well-liked Bond films ever. As a result, 2008’s Quantum of Solace opened to much bigger numbers. The sequel found $67.5 million on its opening weekend, but due to weaker word-of-mouth, it fell much more quickly, ultimately finishing with $168.4 million domestically. READ FULL STORY

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