...yet it has performed way above expectations at the box office.
Just goes to show what a lot of hype can achieve.
They were expecting to improve on the two previous Bonds, but, yes, a billion was not expected.
However, it'll be down to more than just hype, given just how hyped so many releases are these days. Probably a mixture of the right film at the right time, little competition, an improvement on QoS, and a worlwide audience eager for a well-shot Bond thrilller relatively low on gimmicks and generally playing to its strengths.
It's really nothing more than a solid, decent night out at the pictures, mercifully free of endless CGI and summer blockbuster overkill. And as such, there is something strangely heartening about its success.