‘Solace’ posts Bond’s best opening

Forster's 'Quantum' earns $27 million on Friday

James Bond lured moviegoers en masse Friday as Sony-MGM’s “Quantum of Solace” set an opening day record for the 007 franchise with a boffo $27 million.

Given the pic’s first day haul from 3,451 engagements and its hefty $7,824 per theater, there’s no question that “Quantum” will outstrip Bond’s top two weekend bows, 2002’s “Die Another Day” ($47.1 million) and 2006’s “Casino Royale” ($40.8 million).

According to Rentrak Theatrical, “Die” owned the previous first day record for a Bond pic at $16.6 million with “Casino Royale” following in second with $14.7 million.

Directed by Marc Forster, “Quantum” marks the first action tentpole for the Blightly helmer whose resume has consisted of critically acclaimed award-driven fare such as 2004’s period drama “Finding Neverland” and 2001’s “Monster’s Ball.”

While most 007 pics are standalone stories, “Quantum” is a sequel to “Casino Royale” The film is the second installment to headline Daniel Craig as 007 and was also produced by Bond vets Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

In the last two weeks, “Quantum” has cleared $200 million at the overseas B.O.

In second place yesterday, Par’s DreamWorks Animation release “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” drew a hearty $8.1 million off 4,065, down 54% from its opening day, for an eight-day cume of $90 million.

Universal’s R-rated comedy “Role Models” took third with $3.8 million off 2,798 in its second Friday, down 44%, for a total cume to date of $30.2 million.

Disney’s “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” continued to party in Friday’s top five with $1.3 million off 3,202, down 49%, with a total domestic B.O. of $79.8 million.

Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” notched fifth with $1.2 million off 1,896, repping a 42% decline with a total cume in its fourth sesh of $24.6 million.

Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” from helmer Danny Boyle hit the highest theater average yesterday with $9,179 or $92,000 from 10 theaters. Since its Wednesday bow, “Slumdog” has earned $160,000.

Expanding from 17 to 38 venues, Miramax’s Holocaust drama “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” shot up 95% in its second Friday grossing $118,000. Through eight days, the pic has earned $471,300.

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