The 24th James Bond adventure, Spectre, made its stateside debut last night and grossed $5.25M.
Thursday pre-show screenings began at 7PM in 3,221 theaters. Spectre is getting the widest North American box office release of any Bond film, as it will be playing in 3,929 theaters. Sony set the bar low with expectations of $60M-$65M, but most box analysts have it pegged for a $75M-$80M domestic debut. That would make it the second biggest Bond opening, behind Skyfall's 2012 debut of $88.4M.
Working against Spectre is a current 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is far below Skyfall's 93% "Fresh" rating. Skyfall also got a huge push from the 50th anniversary of Bond as well as hardly any box office competition. Spectre will have to contend with the Peanuts Movie, which could finish the weekend with $50M.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.
SPECTRE is set for release in the UK on October 26, 2015, and in the US on November 6, 2015.