A $322 million Quantum of Solace for MGM, Sony news
17 November 2008

Los Angeles: A record opening in North America for OO7's latest adventure " Quantum of Solace" has seen distributor Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures, collect a huge $70.4 million from ticket sales in the first three days of release across the United States and Canada.

For the 46-year old franchise this is a record. The previous record for a Bond film opening was held by "Die Another Day." This Pierce Brosnan-starrer, his last, collected $47.1 million during its first weekend in November 2002.

The new film also racked up box office sales of $56.1 million in 73 countries over the weekend. This now brings total foreign sales to $251.6 million. Added to its North American opening, the overall sales of $322 million is already seeing the film coming close to overhauling the $594 million tally of "Casino Royale."

 "Casino Royale" was current James Bond, Daniel Craig's debut film and had collected $40.8 million in its 2006 opening.

In a strategic move "Quantum of Solace," starring Daniel Craig as 007, opened in North America unusually late, much after MGM and Sony Pictures released it overseas in late October. The delayed release helped whip up frenzy in the world's largest movie market and may have helped rack up sales.

Britain has responded warmly to the rugged Mr. Craig as the new Bond becoming the biggest foreign market with sales of $64.1 million, while Germany and France have been enthusiastic enough to fork up $26 million.

The $200 million film was directed by Swiss-German filmmaker Marc Forster, who has made his name with smaller films.

The film is a 50/50 partnership between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc and Columbia, a unit of Sony Corp. Columbia handled production, marketing and distribution and also put up most of the $200 million production budget.

MGM has ancillary rights, such as DVD distribution.

As Bond's latest avatar, Daniel Craig has invested the debonair British spy with a ruggedness patently missing with predecessors such as Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton.

Interestingly, at age 40, he is not only the sixth actor to portray the fictitious British spy but also the first one to be born after the series began. The earliest is Sean Connery, now aged 78.

The Wall Street Journal has described the film as "a model of mediocrity." Such lack of appreciation is not likely to shake or stir emotions at MGM/Sony.  Executives would be too busy counting the cash.

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A $322 million Quantum of Solace for MGM, Sony