This week it's all about Bond, James Bond taking control of the box office. There's new gadgets, beautiful gals, and a new villain to take on a new 007. After months of speculation, the gamble that is Casino Royale (reviews) could pay off big for all involved. Most experts agree, whether the film is a hit or not--that it will sit atop the weekend cinema heap, when all is said and done.
Ian Mohr of Variety discusses Bond and his closest competition:
Can thousands of dancing penguins take down James Bond and "Borat"?
In the first big face-off of the holiday season, Warner Bros.' CG-animated "Happy Feet" and Sony/MGM's latest Bond installment "Casino Royale" should be locked in a seesaw battle as the weekend B.O. frame unfolds and the two pics aim for different demos.
"Casino" should post big numbers Friday as the pic draws a core aud of adults, while "Feet" should benefit from strong matinee runs on Saturday, putting the pic in contention heading into Sunday.
Pic dominated the U.K. market on its opening day Thursday with a strong $3.3 million at 988 playdates, accounting for 67% of Brit biz.
Stateside, "Casino" is tracking best with males 25-plus, while "Feet" is drawing most of its interest, not surprisingly, from the under-25 crowd. But "Feet" could have a trick up its sleeve as adult women and teens also seem primed to pounce.
Also a factor will be "Borat," which has taken the No. 1 spot for the last two frames and will still be occupying 2,611 playdates...
Both Bond and Happy Feet (reviews) have very high "fresh" ratings on Rotten Tomatoes-- but the edge goes to the guy who likes martinis
Meanwhile, it seems as though the comedy Let's Go To Prison (reviews) should have stayed locked up...Christopher Guest' s unscripted ensemble comedy For Your Consideration (reviews), the politically themed Bobby (reviews) that was written and directed by actor Emilio Estevez, and Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation (reviews) --loosely based on author Eric Schlosser's best selling book of the same name--all begin limited runs today
Joshua Rich of Entertainment Weekly says "Casino Royale" is a safe bet for No. 1--adding The latest Bond installment will play to many a full house this weekend...
As a Bond Bonus: The editors of EW have ranked the all 20 films in the franchise from best to worst..