Spectre Daniel Craig
Courtesy of Sony/MGM

Spectre” has scorched box office records, taking in $80.4 million in its opening week and enjoying the biggest U.K. debut in history.

With 24 films to its credit, the James Bond franchise shows no signs of slowing down. The super spy took advantage of a launch in his native Great Britain. All told, “Spectre” earned a massive $63.8 million in its first seven days of release in the U.K., surpassing the previous record held by “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

It opens in the United States on Nov. 6, where it is expected to top the box office, earning as much as $80 million. The film is rumored to be Daniel Craig’s last stint as the martini-swilling secret agent. Craig has been praised for injecting a sense of danger into the series after Pierce Brosnan gave up the part and his more quip-oriented approach to the role. Despite the acclaim he’s received, Craig suggested in interviews that he would rather slit his wrists than appear in another sequel, prompting media speculation about possible replacements.

The coverage didn’t hurt “Spectre” globally. In the Netherlands, “Spectre” left audiences shaken and stirred, picking up $3.9 million. The film added a further $12.7 million to its haul across the Nordic region, while setting new opening records in Finland and Norway, and establishing a new high-water mark in Denmark for the biggest three-day opening of all time with $4.2 million. In Sweden, the film generated nearly $3 million.

The picture also established a new Imax record, nabbing the highest per-location average in company history with $105,000 in 47 theaters. It made $5 million from Imax locations.

Filmed at a cost of $250 million with millions more spent on marketing, “Spectre” needs to be a box office juggernaut if it wants to be profitable. It also has big shoes to fill. “Skyfall,” the previous film in the series, was the highest-grossing 007 chapter in history, nearly doubling “Casino Royale’s” $599 million worldwide haul. It was also the first film in franchise history to cross $1 billion.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced the picture and is distributing the film with Sony. Sam Mendes, who previously guided “Skyfall,” directs a cast that includes Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw and Léa Seydoux.

More to come…

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