Latest 007 film ‘Skyfall’ has a huge North American opening: did you see it?

Most big action films open in the American markets first. We like to road-test our blockbusters before we send them out into the world. But the dynamics of how films are sold and how they make money, that’s all changing. Thus, Skyfall – the latest James Bond movie – opened in Europe a few weeks before North America got it this weekend. Skyfall had already made hundreds of millions of dollars before it ever came here… and I think that more films might be doing that in the future. Skyfall debuted in the US with a huge international buzz and great reviews, and in its first weekend in the US and Canada, the film brought in an estimated $87.8 million. It’s the best opening weekend for a Bond film ever in America, and Skyfall is set to be the highest-grossing Bond film of all time. Taking into account the international markets, Skyfall has already made nearly $430 million.

I kept saying that Skyfall was my most anticipated film of the fall/winter season, so I did manage to see the film over the weekend. Shall we discuss? First, let me put up a spoiler warning…

SPOILERS AHEAD – Mini-review of Skyfall

I went into Skyfall as a huge fan of the Bond franchise in total, and as a fan of Daniel Craig’s “reset” of the Bond franchise. I LOVED Casino Royale and I loathed Quantum of Solace. QoS was just a POS – awful script, bad plot, nonsensical villain, etc. Skyfall felt like the film that should have been made right after Casino Royale. I love the evolution of Daniel Craig’s Bond, although I got bored with all of the references to how “old” this Bond is. Daniel Craig is only 44! Yes, he’s not a young dude, but he’s hardly ancient.

The plot of Skyfall is simple enough – someone is out to get MI6 in general and M (played by Judi Dench) in particular. It’s a very personal motive, and the film ends up being one of the most personal stories ever told in a Bond film. You get to see M’s home. You get to see Bond’s childhood home. You get more backstory on Bond, and you get to see M try to wade through the politics of her office, and her affection for James.

What I loved: I loved everything about Naomie Harris’s character. I loved the flirtation between Naomie and Daniel Craig, and they had a lot of chemistry together. I loved seeing James acting to protect his mother-figure, M, and how it was so personal to him. I loved Ralph Fiennes! He felt very natural in his role, and I think he made a great addition with his smaller but vital role. Javier Bardem’s villain… well, he came into the film too late. But once he finally got there, he was gross/amazing/awful/scene-stealing. Also: I LOVED BEN WHISHAW. What a fantastic little part for a talented young English actor. And I’m glad James Bond finally got his “Q” – and I loved that Q became a shy young nerd. He was adorable.

What I disliked: there were certain parts of the M storyline that were just… too drawn out. Like, it felt like they wanted to give Judi Dench a meatier role for what she said was her last Bond film, but there could have been other ways to give M stuff to do without making her a helpless mother-figure for James to protect. As for Javier’s villain… at one point, he’s been captured and he’s been put into this all-glass cell and I swear it was like “Oh, so he’s Hannibal Lector now?” The Albert Finney digression was a bit too Freudian too, it was like “We don’t need to be banged over the head with this, we get it. They represent Bond’s parents. Enough.” Last complaint: the film was too long. I enjoyed it overall, but they could have shaved 10-15 minutes off and it still would have been a great film.

PS… I was asked to say something about the rumors that Skyfall will be Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond. I don’t know. He just signed a new contract for two more Bond films a few months ago, and considering the success of Skyfall, I doubt the producers will let him out of his contract. That being said, I fully expect Daniel Craig to bitch and moan all the way to the bank. He’s a total f—king curmudgeon, and no, it’s not “self-deprecating”. He’s just a moody bitch.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “Latest 007 film ‘Skyfall’ has a huge North American opening: did you see it?”

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  1. alons-y alonso says:

    Nooooo! I had to skip the ‘spoilers’ section of this article. Skyfall does not open in Australia until the 22nd.

    • Vesper Lynd says:

      @alons-y alonso: without up for you, i can tell you that I watched it at an Imax screen and it was awesome, i wish it had been made in 3D but i loved it! Bardem plays an awesome villain, the cast is great. I am a bit skeptical about the end though, it felt a bit…blah. Most of the movie is jam packed with action. I wonder if they will offer alternate ends when it comes out on DVD ?
      I.hate previous and commercials before the movie, the preview that irrirtated me the most was the one for Hansel and Gretel, starring Jeremy Renner. I mean, why screw with kid ‘s fairy tales? I hated Red riding Hood and Snow White and the Hunstman. The lack of creativity has reached new levels.when some filmakers resort to prequels, sequels, remakes or mess with children fairyy tales…ugh! With so many talented writers out there, waiting for a chance!
      Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

    • The Original Genevieve says:


      I know that gossip waits for no man, BUT…could you possibly introduce this under another thread this upcoming week? I know that I’m unfashionably un-hip right now for not having rushed out to see the opening night of “Skyfall’. But hubs had “home office” BS to iron out all weekend :(

      Now, with the recap and the reviews, I HAVE to go see it! Later dates, Kaiser….hope I won’t find it too underwhelming.

  2. Amelia says:

    My hands down favourite film of the year!
    And to be perfectly honest, I could have done with 10/15 minutes *more* of it.
    Loved it. Going to go see it again :)
    Out of interest, what did people think of the title sequence with Adele playing in the background? I really wanted to climb up to the projector booth and yell to the guy running it “TURN IT UP!!!”
    That song deserves to be belted out so people on the street can hear it.

    • j.eyre says:

      I have to stop reading the responses b/c I really don’t want to know anything about the film so I am jumping on your thread, hope that’s OK.
      I am a big Bond fan and cannot wait. Couldn’t get in this weekend so I will try again next.

      If I give you $20, will you actually climb into the booth and yell at the operator? I could totally see you doing this but in the most gracious, well-spoken way possible.

  3. Tiffany27 says:

    I loved it. Naomie Harris was awesome, Daniel Craig was sexy, Ben Whishaw (Q) was adorable! My dream man.
    But yes, the movie was a bit too long and I have nothing nice to say about Javier Bardem since reading about him being a diq almost everywhere he goes.

  4. Miss Kiki says:

    I though it was amazing. I actually like Skyfall more than I like Casino Royale. I had been getting bored of hearing the Adele Bond theme but over the credits it was fantastic. Naomie Harris was great, Ben Wishaw is my new crush and again I’m reminded that Daniel Craig really does wear the sh*t out of a tuxedo.

  5. Ranunculus says:

    I am not really a fan of Daniel Craig (boring actor) and also not really of Bond movies, but Judi Dench and Javier Bardem are definitely worth watching in pretty much anything they do.

  6. GoodCapon says:

    I’ve never watched any Bond films before, and I thoroughly enjoyed Skyfall.

    Javier Bardem… in some scenes he was great, but most of the time he was too hammy for me.

    I love Naomie Harris’ clothes. :D

  7. pretty says:

    he looks like a yoda. like your traditional looking yoda.

  8. Melymori says:

    I saw it 3 times last week and loved it more every time. I agree Bardem appeared a little late in the movie, but what a great entrance he made. I loved the fact that it’s been the funnier JB movie I’ve seen. LOVED Q, Ms. Moneypenny and the new M. The soundtrack was great, and the opening is amazing! Definetly the best James Bond so far and totally worth the delay.

  9. taxi says:

    Naomie’s see-through dress is tacky. Conceal the bra next time.

  10. Tiffany says:

    I liked Skyfall, but loved Casino Royale. I believe the missing element is Martin Campbell. The man has the magic touch when it comes to Bond films and you can tell from the last two that there is something off.

  11. Suzy from Ontario says:

    Saw it, loved it. The opening credit sequence was incredible! Loved the Adele song. They managed to capture the feel of the original Bond movies from the 1960s and blend it with today in a way that it didn’t feel dated or cheesy…really well done. I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond…manly, rugged, yet classy and confident.

  12. Esmom says:

    Four friends saw it this weekend and their opinions were split down the middle. Two loved it, two were “meh” about it. But they all agreed that Casino Royale was their favorite Craig Bond film. And apparently that one was recently rated as not one of the best of all the Bonds.

    I’m waiting for Lincoln to be more widely distributed.

  13. chloe says:

    Saw it yesterday and loved it, the title sequence was great, got to see Bond/Daniel a few times without a shirt and Javier has proven that he is well worth his 3 Oscar nominations (one win) along with Dame Judi, felt bad for Bernice though, her time on screen was way to short.

  14. Audrey says:

    Boring! Re-hash of so many fight scenes and overused Bond cliches. How many Bond movies have a fight scene on a train??

    OBVIOUS holes in the plot and other plot lines completely forgotten and ignored in the second half. And, how did M die????

    The only good thing was Bardem, and they didn’t make the most of it.

    Waste of money.

  15. Jenna says:

    Nope. I dislike Craig as Bond so damn much. BUT I may watch it just to see Javier Bardem.

  16. bros says:

    was really really good. loved the return to old school vs young cyber.

  17. amandapanda says:

    Goodness, were we watching the same film? I thought Naomie Harris & Daniel Craig had about as much chemistry as a soggy cardboard box. She was AWFUL.

    Thought the film was ok, way too long & the plot was too disjointed for me, but Javier Bardem was great. Overall, “meh” stars.

    • T.C. says:

      Daniel Craig had lousy chemistry with both bond girls. I still liked Naomie Harris though they need to beef up her part next time. Javier Bardem was the best part of the film for me. Q was O.K. Judi Dench’s M too mother figure for me. Craig as Bond is just O.K. not my favorite.

  18. RTR_Girl says:

    I loved it and the hubby was indifferent – he thought Casino Royale was much better. I do agree that it ran a bit too long. The opening sequence/chase scene was awesome, as always, though.

  19. RTR_Girl says:

    I loved it and the hubby was indifferent – he thought Casino Royale was much better. I do agree that it ran a little too long. The opening sequence/chase scene was awesome, as always, though.

  20. virginia5 says:

    Daniel Graig is an old looking 44 year old man.

  21. Vivian says:

    I enjoyed it very much with only one minor complaint that it was a bit long. It falls under Casino Royal for me though but Daniel is my favorite Bond. I really don’t get the hate for him. He is a good actor and has redefined and resurrected the Bond franchise. Fans that attended events also said that he was very nice to take photos and signed autographs while most of his peers did not.

  22. Whisper says:

    I think Daniel Craig has gone all coy since he hooked up with Rachel Weisz as I saw no chemistry here with the love interests. Maybe he just didn’t fancy them. The new Moneypenny is dull and there’s no spark between her and Bond. The new Q is a great actor but why does the techy boffin always have to be so stereotypically geeky? There are good looking, cool computer experts/inventors out there, why not surprise us? Bardem wasn’t sinister enough for me and the locations weren’t sufficiently exotic. The gadgets were underwhelming (why not go to town with one of the most fun aspects of the Bond films, it’s what we expect and want!) and Ralph Fiennes was dour and leant a sober, grey suited, old fashioned stif upper lipped Britishness to the proceedings and I am not happy that he’s the new M. The whole enterprise seems to be going backwards and getting more chauvinistic and serious – we’ll be back to a Timothy Dalton boring style Bond if the next film carries on in this vein – overly masculine,macho and humourless.

  23. nate says:

    I loved it! Especially the slashy part, people in the cinema erupted into giggles at that point))

  24. Guest says:

    I saw it in Toronto; along with a huge audience. It is the best because it was very British; especially the clothes and mannerisms. Javier was a brilliant nemeses; not a stupid menacing monster.

  25. megs283 says:

    Daniel Craig does it for me, and seeing him all-out running in some scenes inspires me to get in shape.

    I loved Naomi – I thought it was great that she was in the field and kicking butt. Too many Bonds – IMO – have females around solely as eye candy and I liked that there was some action there.

    I thought Q went to the Harry Potter School of Styling. But whatevs.

    LASTLY – I liked that things got down and dirty at the end at you-know-where. It seemed so old school and I loved the mood. And Adele’s song fit everything PERFECTLY!

  26. Leah says:

    I loved it and I want to go see it again. Fiance told me he hates James Bond and I about cried. I think Craig brings something different to the Bond character, but that’s just me.

  27. LeeLoo says:

    I saw it and I LOVE Javier Bardem. I am kind of hoping he didn’t die at the end. I want him to still be infected with that virus known as life and return to future Bond films. I especially love the interactions between Silva and Bond. It brings Bond to a new psychological level of he will say and do anything to win.

    I don’t know why everyone is whining about the interactions between Naomie and Bond considering who Naomie’s character is. Of course the interactions between the two are soggy!

    Oh and @Kaiser, I found this article. It may explain why this may be Craig’s last Bond movie.

  28. Dahlia1947 says:

    Yes I did! It was so awesome!! I just love Daniel as Bond, man! I grew up on these movies cause my dad used to take my mom and me to the theatre to see the latest one with Roger Moore!

    I also remember the the older movies coming on TV and we’d watch those too! Yeah this one was good! And the ending was surprising/sad.

  29. Lila says:

    Saw it, loved it. Javier Bardem was lots of fun. Felt like a big nod to Andrew Scott’s version of Moriarty.

  30. Ginger says:

    I can’t wait to go and see it! I’m waiting to see it with my son as my Mom used to take my brother and I to see all the Bond films when I was growing up. He has just recently discovered the Bond films so I’m finding it cool that we can share that experience. Everyone I know who has seen it so far has loved it.

  31. Joyce says:

    Saw it and loved it. What I love is that this one gave a little more insight on Bond’s childhood which other Bond films didn’t. Might want to see it again this weekend.

  32. honeybee says:

    I am not a Bond fan but saw Casino Royale and fell in love with Daniel. I tried watching a Pierce Brosnan one just to see what he was like and it was laughable.
    Daniel is the best Bond. Apt for this time. QoS wasn’t great. Problem was not having a script in place because of the writers’ strike.

    Skyfall was awesome. Bond is not all about just drinking martinis, sexing up the Bond girls and wearing a tux while smirking at the camera. Bond is so much more and Daniel portrays it wonderfully. He shows the vulnerability, the steely strength, humor, style beautifully.
    Javier was very good in the opening scene. The opening fight scene was great and so was the theme song.

    Daniel totally deserved that Best Artist of the Year award from BaftaLA this year. He is a great talent who gave life to this dying franchise.

    I disagree with Kaiser about Daniel being a ‘curmudgeon’ – her favorite word for him.
    He is just a bit reserved in public I think. But people working closely with him say just the opposite about him. That he is a goofball, hard working, respectful, kind to others… he just doesn’t do the fame game.

  33. Feebee says:

    I saw it and loved it. Maybe a tad too long but that’s about it. I thought it struck a good balance between keeping Craig’s Bond intact with trying to lighten him up a little.

    The chemistry between Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny and Bond maybe wasn’t what it has been in past films but it was enough. More like he enjoys a bit of banter but that’s as far as it goes.

    Really liked seeing into the Bond childhood. I didn’t think M came across as helpless though her McGyverness made me laugh.

    I don’t think Bond usually opens in the US first, don’t they always open in the UK, if not first then on the same day? I think of Bond as a British film not a US one.

    and @ Honeybee – totally agree with your take on him. I think his public persona is deliberate.

  34. Noel says:

    I did not like the way they styled Naomi Harris. The costumes made her look older and the hairstyle did not show off her bone structure!

  35. d says:

    I said exactly the same thing about SkyFall: it’s what should have come after CR. So, I saw the film, liked some parts well enough, but overall, I was kind of disappointed. But I had to wonder if I wasnt’ really the target market and it was aimed at a younger crowd that doesn’t care that much about plotting, etc.

    There were continuity errors, character mis-steps (imo), character conflicts (e.g., most of the main characters wereacting in one style of movie and the Bardem in another), wasted characters with behaviour that made no sense (disposable Bond girl whatshername being super super afraid of Bardem’s character, but you never really get why). And so on and so forth.

    It was too long, I agree there too.

    There was nothing about the criminal mastermind organization (SPECTRE) that was hinted at in the last movie (?), which I have mixed feelings about.

    Adele’s soundtrack was great, the cinematography, chase/action scenes were fantasic (sweaty palms galore!), I liked finding out details about Bond’s past, I love Judi Dench’s M, I lked the new Q, I loved the Hong Kong building lights/glass/window things, and i liked the idea of old vs. new, but especially in the case of the latter, I felt that some of the dialog and plotting were shoehorned in. I had to wonder if there were conflicts between the screenwriters and the director and producers and they opted for style over consistent coherent plotting.
    I liked the discussion of enemies among us, how spying is the same, but different (most because I do believe you need boots on the ground/spies in the field, as much as you need technology…you can’t have one without the other), and so on.

    I guess Bond films have a certain elan and there is an expectation of style over substance, but after Casino Royale and Craig’s depiction of Bond (which I really like), I expect more out of the story lines. Bond villains that get mad at M because they didn’t properly bite down on their suicide capsule don’t scare me, they just make think, “what a crybaby dummy”.

    There were a lot of things I liked about the film. But not enough to add up to make me say it was the best film ever. Dunno. Just my opinion.

  36. Moi says:

    We saw it, it was pretty good. Bardem did a fantastic job as the villian/psycho. And yay! It seems Ralph Fiennes may have a re-occurring role. :-D

  37. Xena says:

    I was just dragged to Skyfall earlier today by some friends. For the most part it was pretty amusing, I enjoyed the stripped down (if still just as silly as the rest of it all) final act, and liked how M was such a strong character throughout.


    That said I’m very annoyed with how the film dealt with the character of Sévérine, and was wondering if anyone felt similarly? Two things in particular bugged me.

    The more major of the two things was the shower scene – where Bond arrives whilst Sévérine is having a shower and he proceeds to have sex with her – which I found sickening because the more I think about it the more I’m struggling to read this as anything other than a rape scene. Lets ignore some of the already questionable typical Bond stuff here – his arriving in her room unannounced, entering the shower without being in any way invited etc etc – and just think about the characters for a second. Sévérine is a character who was forced in to prostitution and has been abused. Bond, who managed to figure out this about her, agrees to help take down her boss thus helping her. He then later, in his traditional forward and dominant manner, initiates sex with her. He initiates sex in his dominant leading style with someone who has an abusive history. He initiates sex with someone who is used to having to provide sex to people in order to continue surviving, and he does this fairly soon after he agreed to help her essentially survive (carrying the unnerving possibly that the only reason she went along with having sex with him was because he agreed to help her and thus she feels like she has to have sex with him as payment to him). The whole matter of that shower scene is just intensely disturbing to me.

    My other issue with the way Sévérine’s character was handled was her death, and in particular the flippant, “bad-ass line” Bond utters upon her death. Loads of people have run to that line’s defence saying that it was Bond trying to trick his captors in to thinking he didn’t care, but the thing is quite a few people in the cinema I was in laughed at that line. They laughed at a line that made light of the death of a woman who has spent a long time being abused and who was just killed by her abusers. Say whatever you want about that line being essential to Bond tricking his captors (and it really, really wasn’t), but when you put in a line as problematic as that and such a large proportion of the theatre find it funny then there is something deeply wrong with that line being in there in the first place.

    In the end Sévérine is treated as disposable – she’s there just to titillate audiences, serve as a plot device, and then she can be killed off.

    I probably wouldn’t be posting this here, except I’ve seen so many people applauding Skyfall’s presentation of women and my friends didn’t really understand why I was upset and it’s frustrating me.

    • DesertPoppy says:

      I also posted down thread but I wanted to tell you I understand what you are saying. From the Bond films I have seen, women are frequently little more that titillation and plot devices so I wasn’t surprised when watching it. Though if you stop and think about it I guess it speaks volumes that I am not surprised and really angry up over it. I do wish it would change but I think you’d need more women in positions of power in the industry and I don’t know how you’d do that.

  38. carrie says:

    beautiful cinematography and classy movie but as i love Nolan’s Batman movies as James Bond isn’t Batman (even if Nolan loves Bond movies)

  39. Eileen says:

    I saw it as a matinee in IMAX at brand new theater here in central Va and it was excellent! There were a lot of people in the theater but it was Veteran’s day. A great way to pass time on a very gray day.

  40. Eileen says:

    I saw it as a matinee in IMAX at brand new theater here in central Va and it was excellent! There were a lot of people in the theater but it was Veteran’s day.

  41. Amanda says:

    I saw it yesterday and it was awesome. Craig was sexy, as always. I also liked Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Wishaw was adorable as a young, geeky Q.

  42. Juicy Lucy says:

    Skyfall is by far the best in the Bond frachise. I will be seeing it again.

  43. DesertPoppy says:

    I saw it yesterday and enjoyed it even though I missed the last few bond films. I honestly wonder if one of the reasons it did so well here (the US) is that there has been complete crap out in the theaters for months, a few good movies here and there but mostly complete crap.

  44. Mrs K says:

    I saw the movie last weekend: the actors were good but the story did not make much sense to me. The best Bond movie was “Casino Royale” so far.