The 22nd installment of the James Bond franchise, Quantum of Solace (Sony), has grabbed a record-shattering £4.94M on its opening day in the UK, which is about $8M in US dollars. That is approximately 42% higher than the first day of Casino Royale, the first 007 adventure to feature Daniel Craig as Bond, and it represents an all-time single day record for the UK.

Although Quantum will not open in the US for 2 weeks, the film opened yesterday (10/31) in Mr. Bond’s home country, and it has out-performed the all-time best UK opening day for 2005’s Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, which grabbed £4.02M. The all-time opening weekend record for the UK is $33.5M held by last year’s Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. The top 9 openings in UK box office history are all family-geared films, but Quantum of Solace has a chance to deliver the all-time best 3-day start in history.

In the US, Craig’s Bond debut in 2006 is the all-time #1-grossing film in the franchise with $167.4M, and it scored a staggering $40.8M opening weekend 2 years ago. My gut says that, with no other releases November 14, and with only young-skewing Bolt (Disney) and Twilight (Summit) debuting the following week, Quantum of Solace is going to be a box office juggernaut when it comes stateside.

I think it is safe to predict a $50M opening weekend for the Sony release with first week sales (Friday-thru-Thursday) an estimated $66M. The second weekend for the new Bond will likely be in the $29M-$33M range, which would mean a drop of only 35%-40%, and Quantum may be at $135M domestic by the Monday after Thanksgiving.

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