The screenings started 15 minutes after the 8 p.m. launch of the gala royal premiere in London.
Sony said the film performed “spectacularly,” noting that the $6.4 million was on par with the first full day’s gross of “Skyfall” three years ago, despite “Skyfall” having many more showtimes.
The film features boat chases, explosions, upside-down helicopter rides and Craig trying to outrun the front of a building that’s collapsing on him. Christoph Waltz plays the new villain Oberhauser.
In the film, directed by Sam Mendes, a cryptic message from the past sends Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister Spectre.
EON Productions, MGM and Sony Pictures will release the 24th film in the Bond franchise to the rest of the world on Nov. 6.
“Skyfall” was the top grosser among the 23 Bond films with $1.1 billion worldwide, including $304 million in the U.S. and $161 million in the U.S.