That director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight influenced the 23rd James Bond installment Skyfall is no secret; indeed, director Sam Mendes has admitted the social relevance and personal artistic touch of Nolan’s approach to Batman inspired him to accept the challenge of making a thoughtful, yet entertaining, blockbuster featuring 007 (currently played by Daniel Craig).
It’s somewhat ironic, then, that Skyfall has excelled beyond Nolan’s Batman trilogy finale The Dark Knight Rises, in terms of the overall critical reception – though, both films nonetheless easily qualify as ‘critical darlings’ – and now, with respect to the $1 billion box office returns from around the globe.
Skyfall has officially passed Dark Knight Rises at the worldwide box office, with a $1.09 billion take (and growing) that makes it the seventh highest-grossing film of all time. Mendes’ picture benefitted from a strong opening in China a couple weeks back, with its gross in the country passing $50 million over the weekend; though, it may not have gotten enough of a boost to climb past Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.119 billion) and Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.123 billion) and eventually make its way into the top 5 of all time.
Meanwhile, The Avengers still holds domestic and worldwide box office crowns of 2012, with Dark Knight Rises remaining the bigger financial success in the States ($448 million vs. Skyfall‘s $303 million). Still, when you consider how Craig’s third round as Agent 007 has made nearly as much as his first two ventures combined (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace took in $1.185 billion together), well… that is a testament to just how much audiences rallied around Mendes’ version of Bond.
On a related note: Warner Bros.’ Oscar campaign for Dark Knight Rises proved to be a failure, as the film did not receive a single Academy Award nod. Skyfall, on the other hand, is up for five Oscars overall, with the theme song from Adele and Paul Epworth currently a frontrunner to win; similarly, the cinematography from Roger Deakins and the sound design team’s mixing/editing all stand a good chance of being recognized.
That’s all to say: as far as last year goes, Bond ultimately beat Batman.
The Dark Knight Rises is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Skyfall will release on DVD and Blu-ray on February 12th, 2013.