Were the Brosnan films this anticipated, I can't remember much.
No. While I agree with dee-bee-five that "Brosnan was very popular, even if it suits some people on here to ignore that fact", I agree with him even more when he says that "Craig's Bond has captured the prevailing international mood in the way Connery's Bond did four decades ago".
The Brosnan films were certainly anticipated by the world outside 007 fandom (insofar as magazines like Empire
and sites like AICN would carry news stories about them during their making), but no one really expected them to be especially incredible films (not even us fans; I mean, we enjoyed them for what they were, and they fuelled the flames of our fandom, but that was pretty much about it - of course, I don't speak for the particularly Brozpassionate wing of Bond fandom, for whom something like THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH may indeed have been CITIZEN KANE*) - they were really just seen as part of the scenery. A welcome part of the scenery, but a part of the scenery nonetheless. "Oh, look, it's another two years on and here comes another Bond film", kinda thing.
Nowadays, though, the level of interest seems much higher, and people's expectations have been raised considerably by CASINO ROYALE. Judging by the coverage, it appears that QUANTUM OF SOLACE is being considered as a major project and potentially one of the best films of 2008 (putting it in the same league as THE DARK KNIGHT and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL), and not "just another Bond movie".
And, yes, having seen the new pics and read the new reports, I believe that QoS will outgross CR, and not just internationally but also Stateside.
*To put it another way, I greatly looked forward to and devoured news reports about all of the Brosnan films, but never expected any of them to be among the best films of its year, whereas I'll be surprised if QoS isn't
one of the best films of this year.