Bond pic cumes $151.9 million after 40 days

LONDON –Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” has overtaken “Avatar” to become the highest grossing film of all-time at Blighty’s box office.

On Tuesday the 23rd James Bond film’s U.K. and Ireland gross hit £94.3 million ($151.9 million), after just 40 days on release. The lifetime gross of James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster “Avatar” was $151.5 million.

“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude to the cinema-going audiences in the U.K. who have made ‘Skyfall’ the highest grossing film of all time,” said producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of Eon Prods. “We are very proud of this film and thank everybody, especially Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, who have contributed to its success.”

Peter Taylor, managing director of Sony Pictures Releasing U.K., said, “It seems particularly fitting in 2012 that the latest James Bond adventure should become the highest grossing movie ever, marking the 50th anniversary of one of our truly iconic cultural characters in record breaking style.”

“Skyfall” is also the most successful 007 film at the global box office, having taken over $870 million to date. It has nabbed $246.7 million at the domestic box office, far exceeding the $168.4 million taken by previous franchise record-holder, “Quantum of Solace,” in 2008.

“Skyfall” is produced by Eon, MGM and Sony.

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