Weekend Predictions: 11-14-08

So, the title says predictions, but there’s really only one prediction to make. This weekend’s lone, lonely new wide release is the 22nd entry in the James Bond pantheon, Quantum of Solace.

My handy spreadsheet is just a click away.

QoS is a bit of a hard movie to predict. It’s certainly the most anticipated Bond movie and should set records for the series. The biggest opening weekend thus far belongs to Die Another Day, at $47,072,040. Casino Royale might have taken that title, but there was plenty of doubt about the choice of Daniel Craig to play Bond and whether or not the series really needed a do-over, biting into the opening weekend totals. Trying to use the trending of the opening weekends to aid in the prediction was problematic because of CR’s dip. There wasn’t anything fancy about my calculation- I gave director Marc Forster a pass for not having four movies and deducted $2 million for Olga Kurylenko only having two movies. I did include the production company (EON Productions) for the first time, but since they only had Bond movies to their credit and those movies were already peppered throughout the formula, it didn’t have a significant impact. The calculated total came out to $28,088,074.93, which will be way low. Since I couldn’t come up with a more scientific way to change the total, I went with the same thing I did for High School Musical 3 and doubled it. My prediction is officially $56,176,149.86.

I was a huge James Bond fan growing up, so much so that I even played the James Bond pencil-and-paper role playing game, but my enthusiasm really dropped off after License to Kill. When the series picked up again with Pierce Brosnan, it looked to me like one big commercial- not helped by all the “Buy James Bond’s” car/watch/electric razor commercials. I recently rewatched Casino Royale and it still just didn’t feel like a James Bond movie. If you changed the character’s name, you would never know it wasn’t some generic espionage thriller. Like it or not, for 20 movies James Bond wasn’t a brooding action hero. That Bond relied on his wits, gadgets, ridiculous stunts, and the occasional karate-chop. He was more savvy than brawn, more suave than brute. The new Bond is a more impulsive Jason Bourne or a humorless John McClane. That’s not to say it’s necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not the same thing.

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