The first teaser poster for Daniel Craig’s return as 007 in Skyfall has been released, ahead of the first teaser trailer that will drop online next Monday morning. It’s a pretty striking image and definitely worth a gander in its high definition totality. But before we get to that, and taking a page from our own Dear Leader, I thought it might be a fun exercise to look at a few of the other posters from Craig’s Hollywood heavyweight history — basically since Casino Royale — and their films’ ultimate revenues . There appears to be a pattern emerging from these theatrical one-sheets that almost definitely determines whether a Daniel Craig Movie will be a theatrical success. The posters/movies are in descending order from hit to bomb based on the figures at Box Office Mojo, and it should be noted that his top five are under represented because three and four on that list are Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Road to Perdition, respectively. They’re not Daniel Craig Movies and, thus, they do not count.
Now, I’m sure you’re dying to get to Skyfall (if you haven’t already scrolled down, cheater), so let’s get to it!
Quantum of Solace
Opening Weekend Box Office: $67,528,882
Lifetime Gross: $168,368,427
Craig’s second outing as James Bond didn’t receive the critical or audience raves of its predecessor, but it still managed to have a higher opening and a higher total gross. It just goes to show that the first sequel of a franchise can coast through its life more easily than hotel heiresses and the sons of rich former Governors.
Opening Weekend Box Office: $40,833,156
Lifetime Gross: $167,445,960
When Craig initially suited up to play the legendary British spy, very few people (except, probably, fans of Layer Cake) predicted that his take would energize the character and the franchise to new heights. But he looked positively badass, even Connery-esque, toting the Walther PPK in that tux; the gorgeous Eva Green is almost a frivolous addition, and that’s really saying something.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Opening Weekend Box Office: $12,768,604
Lifetime Gross: $102,515,793
While not the box office success many imagined after Stieg Larssen’s “Millennium” book trilogy (and the Swedish film adaptations starring Noomi Rapace) stormed the country, this is still Craig’s fifth highest grossing film. The poster, while dramatic and intriguing, hides Craig behind Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander, who, while fantastic, is not exactly the same as Vesper Lynd.
Cowboys & Aliens
Opening Weekend Box Office: $36,431,290
Lifetime Gross: $100,240,551
Another moderate success (in terms of expectations), this poster at least puts Craig front and center, and if the two Bond movies are any indication, should have translated into a surefire hit. I’m positive many of you don’t mind this angle, but the man’s rough hewn face is clearly the moneymaker he really needs to shake — figuratively speaking — to get our attention.
Opening Weekend Box Office: $123,513
Lifetime Gross: $28,644,813
So what to make of this poster, which makes Craig’s cragged visage the focal point of the piece? He’s also holding a gun, which, again, judging by the Bonds ought to mean gangbuster business. Well, I’d like to remind you that Defiance was actually kind of an indie hit. If they could have found a contextually reasonable way to put him into suit, I’m sure it would have cracked Craig’s top five.
Opening Weekend Box Office: $5,951,409
Lifetime Gross: $15,074,191
No immaculate and perfectly tailored suit, no guns, and sharing equal space with his female lead (which, as we saw above with Dragon Tattoo can be risky). The poster is just uninspiring on so many levels… Actually, that does make it a perfect fit for the movie itself, which is the main reason this belly flopped so hard.
So, what can we say about this one? I honestly have no idea how to project Skyfall’s box office or its inevitable total gross, but with this much Besuited Gun-Wielding Craig on display, and no female leads to clog up the view, as well as being the most James Bondian poster in the history of the franchise, I would be shocked if this doesn’t become the actor’s highest grossing lead role to-date. Opening in October rather than this overcrowded summer can’t hurt, either.
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his wares can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He will also be selling copies of his comic at this weekend’s Dallas Comic Con at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas, and if you happen to be around he probably wouldn’t mind if you stopped by to say hello.