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Bond 'Skyfall' Soars, Rakes in Millions in Early Screenings

Friday, 9 Nov 2012 | 4:31 PM ET

The North American launch of "Skyfall," the latest James Bond flick, is "off to an amazing start," according to Sony.

Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall.
Source: MGM/Sony
Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall.

The studio reported that IMAX theaters brought in $2.2 million in previews on Thursday, plus another $2.4 million from midnight shows.

"Our early matinees are through the roof, including outstanding performance from Imax theaters that are now running with their regular schedule," Sony said in a statement.

"Skyfall," which cost a reported $200 million, has already grossed over $320 million overseas. In the U.K. it was not only the biggest opening of a Bond movie ever, but it's already the biggest film in the U.K. this year. (Read More: How to be Cool Like James Bond.)

Who will cash in?

Sony is the main beneficiary, with MGM a close second. The two are co-financing the film, but Sony is also handling the marketing and distribution worldwide.

Sony will also benefit at its music label, which is releasing the soundtrack that features a single from Adele. Her "Skyfall" song has already been a huge hit, topping the iTunes charts the morning after it launched last month.

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And U.K.-based Eon Productions, which produced the film, also stands to cash in.

Product placements

The film is a brand blockbuster, with a seemingly unprecedented variety of products. (Read More: Be Like 007: The $40,000 Quadski.)

Sony is promoting its electronics, including laptops and phones. And product placement deals range from Honda motorcycles, to Heineken beer, to Coke Zero, and of course Bond's signature Omega watches. According to some reports, Eon is bringing in $40 million in revenue from those placements.

But Bond fans have raised concerns that 007 should be sipping a martini instead of a Heineken. (Read More: Drink Up, Beer Is Healthy...Says Heineken Exec.)

Has Bond overdone those product placements? It doesn't seem to be impacting the box office performance.

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin
@JBoorstin

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.