Compiled by: Jack Foley
UK OPENING: The 20th official James Bond movie,
Die Another Day, took over £1.2m on its first day of
general release in the UK - Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - and
is well on course to beat the five-day opening weekend figure
of 007's last outing, The World Is Not Enough (£6.3m). The
impressive total was being hailed as a huge success, particularly
in light of its midweek opening.
Die Another Day was shown at 430 sites across the UK, and amassed
over £2,900 per cinema screen, according to trade magazine
Screen International, which predicted another multi-million success
for the super agent.
Previous Brosnan outings have always proved popular, with Goldeneye
taking £19m, Tomorrow Never Dies taking £22.4m and
The World Is Not Enough taking £31.2m.
However, in comparing Die Another Day's opening day total with
other success stories, such as Lord of the Rings, the secret agent
did not fare so well.
Last year's Fellowship
Of The Ring made £2.1m on its midweek launch day in
December, while its sequel, The
Two Towers, opens on December 18 and is already expected to
break Box Office records on both sides of the Atlantic.
US REACTION: Die Another Day was greeted to generally
favourable reviews in America, which has proved traditionally
more harder on the secret agent than critics in the UK.
Leading the way was Entertainment Weekly, which awarded
it an A- and described it as 'the savviest and most exciting Bond
adventure in years'. Film Threat awarded it four out of
five and said that 'one thing remains the same - the vital fun
that a Bond movie brings'.
Hollywood Reporter said that it 'does the expected, but
with the ante raised in every area', while LA Weekly referred
to it as 'the niftiest Bond movie in years'.
People felt that it was 'engaging escapist entertainment',
while Rolling Stone felt that 'darkness becomes [Bond]', and 'so
The Boston Phoenix, meanwhile, said that it 'delivers
most of what Bondphiles crave: spectacular stunts, cool gadgets,
and hot babes'.
Of a more mixed nature were the likes of the Chicago Tribune,
which wrote that Die Another Day is 'a James Bond film for people
who choose restaurants for their large portions', while Variety
felt that it 'sports some tasty scenes, mostly in the first half,
but also pushes 007 into CGI-driven, quasi-sci-fi territory that
feels like a betrayal of what the franchise has always been about'.
TV Guide went completely down the middle, awarding it
two and a half out of five and writing: "When the action
stops, so does the movie."
On a negative note, however, Reel Views referred to it
as 'a train wreck of an action film', while Slant Magazine
found it 'both tiresome and predictable'.
But the film scored more hits than misses, proving that Bond
should well wait before he Dies Another Day...
UK PREMIERE: Her Majesty's finest agent, James Bond,
had an appointment with the Queen at the charity première
of Die Another Day (held at the Royal Albert Hall in London
on Monday, November 18).
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both met actor Pierce Brosnan,
along with the movie's co-stars, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens,
Rosamund Pike, Dame Judi Dench and Madonna.
The venue was also transformed into an ice palace for the event,
in homage to the lair of one of the latest Bond villains.
In what proved to be a star-studded occasion, a number of former
James Bonds also attended, including Timothy Dalton, George
Lazenby and Roger Moore (although Sean Connery stayed away).
Fans, who lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the glittering
celebrities, were treated to quite a spectacle, as well as the
chance to view some of the cars featured in the Bond films,
which were parked outside the Albert Hall to mark the 20th film
in the series, and Bond's 40th anniversary.
The film's producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli,
who also attended, said they were honoured that the film had
been chosen as the annual royal film performance, describing
James Bond as 'the epitome of all things British'.