The Daniel Craig Bond series kicked off with 2006’s Casino Royale, a grittier look at the classic character that also delved deeper into the agent’s psychology than any of the previous films. Upon release that November, it was met with near-universal acclaim, with critics welcoming Craig and director Martin Campbell’s harder-edged take on the character.
Following Casino Royale’s huge critical and commercial success, Craig went on to reprise the role in four additional movies, the most recent of which – the long-delayed No Time to Die – is slated to hit North American theaters on Oct. 8. In advance of the film’s release, we’re looking back at the box office performance of the lucrative Craig era of the long-running spy series – the most explosively popular of all chapters in the franchise’s nearly six-decade history.
Casino Royale (2006)
Craig’s debut as 007 did away with the over-the-top gadgetry and flights of fancy that — in the estimation of many critics and fans — had come to plague the Pierce Brosnan installments. The actor’s haunted, complex portrayal met with widespread approval, and the film was rewarded with an excellent $40.83 million opening weekend. While that was a lower debut than Brosnan’s final Bond film, 2002’s Die Another Day, Casino Royale‘s staying power was more substantial. By the end of its run, Casino Royale had outgrossed every prior entry in the series both in North America, where it finished with $167.45 million (a 4.1x multiplier), and worldwide, where it cleaned up with a powerful $616.5 million.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Released two years after Casino Royale brought the Bond series back to Earth and was rewarded with record-breaking grosses for the franchise, the Marc Forster-directed Quantum of Solace proved something of a letdown for both critics and audiences, some of whom were critical of the film’s even darker and grittier tone. Though it opened in November 2008 to a sizzling $67.53 million – the best of the franchise to that point by a longshot – Quantum dropped off much more quickly than its predecessor and finished its North American run with $168.37 million, just $1 million above Casino Royale’s domestic total — even though the latter debuted with nearly $27 million less in its opening frame. Nonetheless, Quantum was an unqualified commercial success, particularly overseas, where it took in an additional $421.21 million for a global total of $589.58 million.
The Daniel Craig series – not to mention the Bond franchise as a whole – reached its commercial pinnacle with the Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall, which became the first billion-dollar grosser in franchise history. The critically acclaimed entry, which was widely considered a major improvement on Quantum of Solace, nearly doubled the domestic gross of both Casino Royale and Quantum, taking in a total of $304.36 million after debuting to a franchise-best $88.36 million. Overseas, Skyfall really took flight; the film became the highest-grossing title of all time in the character’s native U.K. after just 40 days of release. It also made a strong showing in major territories such as Germany (where it was the No. 1 film of the year), France, China, and Australia. It finished its jaw-dropping international run with over $800 million, bringing its global tally to over $1.1 billion. In so doing, it entered the realm of the Marvel, Star Wars, Fast & Furious, and Jurassic World franchises in terms of worldwide box office impact.
Also directed by Sam Mendes, Spectre was released to mixed reviews, which was a comedown from the near-universal acclaim enjoyed by Skyfall. Still, audience goodwill from the latter film helped catapult Spectre to the second-best domestic opening of any Bond entry in history at $70.4 million. Though it didn’t have the legs of Skyfall (which finished with a 3.44x multiplier domestically) or Casino Royale in North America, it still topped out at just a hair over $200 million, making it the second-highest-grossing Bond film domestically not adjusting for inflation. And while it didn’t reach the $1 billion global mark like its immediate predecessor, it still made an impressive showing in territories like the the U.K., where it shattered the all-time record for a seven-day opening (though it fell short of the Friday-Sunday weekend record). In Germany, Spectre was the third-highest-grossing film of 2015, while in China, it set both opening weekend and lifetime records for a Bond movie in the country. The penultimate Craig installment wrapped up its global gross with over $880 million.