Skyfall, the 44-year-old Brit’s third outing as the world’s best-loved superspy, is set to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise’s 50-year history but Craig was playing it as cool as his on-screen alter ego when he flew into Sydney airport yesterday, ahead of the film’s Australian premiere at the State Theatre tonight.
Clearly, there was no need for flashy entrances. The taciturn actor slipped with a minimum of fuss into the black BMW that was waiting to whisk him off to the Intercontinental Hotel, where he was joined by Bond girls Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe.
Skyfall has broken records for the James Bond franchise wherever it has been released. The film nabbed the biggest US opening ever for a 007 movie at the weekend with a whopping $87.8 million in ticket sales (Quantum of Solace debuted to a series-best $67.5 million in mid-November 2008, and Casino Royale — marking Craig’s first turn as 007 – opened to $40.8 million in November 2006).
In the UK, the Sam Mendes-directed film has just passed Titanic as the highest-grossing 2D film ever. It is expected to perform just as well in Australia when it opens here on Thursday. The secret to Skyfall’s success, according to exhibitors, is Craig’s gender neutral bias.
“Women love him. Men love the action,” said Samantha Philp, national film promotions and partnership manager at Event Cinemas. Even seven-time Bond Roger Moore has given Craig the official stamp of approval, calling him the best Bond ever.
“I thought Casino Royale was tremendous,” he told Time magazine. “To me, he looks like a killer. He looks as though he knows what he’s doing. I look as though I might cheat at backgammon.”