Sony is reporting that Skyfall grossed $260,000 yesterday, which was just enough to put its domestic total over the magic $300 million mark. Putting that in perspective, this means that Skyfall has nearly doubled the previous domestic-best gross of the 007 series, the $168 million grossing Quantum of Solace and the $167 million-grossing Casino Royale. Now that it's theatrical run is pretty much finished (it's got $5 million left in the tank, at the absolutely most), let's look at how it did in the grand scheme of things. Even when adjusted for inflation, the film is the third-biggest domestic earner in the series, surpassing the adjusted-$279 million gross of You Only Live Twice ($43 million in real 1967 dollars) and hanging out below only the $515 million-grossing Goldfinger ($51 million in 1964) and the $585 million-grossing Thunderball ($65 million in 1965). It's the biggest-grossing spy film of all time and the highest-grossing non-fantasy action film of all-time. Even when playing the inflation card, it's the sixth biggest spy movie ever, behind the aforementioned 60's 007 films, Mission: Impossible II ($310 million adjusted gross/$215 million actual gross) Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ($315m/$205m), and the first Mission: Impossible ($318m/$181m). If you factor in pretty much every remotely recent non-fantastical/non superhero action franchise, it still ends up with more tickets sold than all but the likes of Beverly Hills Cop ($522m/$234m), Rambo: First Blood Part II ($329m/$150m), Rush Hour 2 ($310m/$226m), and Beverly Hills Cop II ($305m/$153m).
It has sold more tickets than every Die Hard film and every Lethal Weapon film. Even when adjusted for inflation, it has outgrossed all-but one Rambo picture and two out of the three Matrix movies (Matrix Reloaded has $363m/$281m). It has outgrossed the adjusted-for-inflation totals of all but the top 14 comic book adaptations thus-far released (and it only needs another $5 million to hop up to 12 on that list). What this arguably shows is how dominant Skyfall was in terms of the real-world action picture. But of course, it also shows how heavily the top-grossing films are dominated by fantasy-laden action pictures as opposed to the more 'real people in real cities with real guns' variation that were once considered the "A" pictures (it gets pantsed by the likes of Indiana Jones and Harry Potter) before the double whammy of comic book adventures and fantasy epics took their hold on the global box office. For example, its domestic performance puts it just 17th on the list for IMAX-enhanced releases. The worldwide performance of Skyfall ($1.033 billion, the 11th-biggest grosser of all time) theoretically puts James Bond back near the top of the franchise hill, a place where it dominated back in the 1960's when it first began. Yet it also shows how insane the box office numbers, especially overseas, have become in the last five years. Skyfall is merely the third-biggest global grosser of 2012, behind The Dark Knight Rises (which "disappointed" all the way to $1.08 billion) and The Avengers ($1.5 billion). In just three years (blame 3D, I suppose), we've gone to but a handful of $1 billion grossers to a box office environment where pundits actually worry whether any big films will reach that milestone in 2013.
But for the moment, let us commemorate the incredible achievement of Skyfall. Kudos to all involved. You've revitalized the franchise, taken it to previously unseen box office heights, earned some of the best reviews of your career, and flirted with Oscar glory. Next time, Mr. Bond, I challenge you to do better.