Skyfall, the latest addition to the Bond franchise, has met expectations by taking more than £20m in its first weekend – and it hasn’t even opened in the US yet.

The 23rd Bond film has made history, notching up the second-biggest three-day opening for any film in Britain ever. Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 exceeds Skyfall, with an overwhelming £23m record set last summer. Fifty years after his first movie appearance, Bond has proved that he’s still as popular as ever. The film, which was directed by Sam Mendes (Road To Perdition, Jarhead, Away we go), has been a huge hit among critics and has topped box office rankings around the world.

Skyfall, which stars Daniel Craig opposite Javier Bardem as the villain, Dame Judi Dench as “M” and newcomers Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw, opens in the US on 9 November. The film’s UK opening weekend gives it a significant head start on exceeding Daniel Craig‘s previous Bond movies. Casino Royale took £13.4 million over its opening weekend in 2006, while Quantum of Solace made £15.4 million during its first three days on release in 2008. The critically acclaimed Skyfall is well on its way to being the most successful Bond film ever conceived.

The action-packed spy movie sees 007 criss-crossing the globe while MI6 and M come under threat from a cyber-terrorist plot. In addition to making box office history, Sony Pictures told The Hollywood Reporter that Skyfall also broke the all-time Saturday attendance record in the UK. Discussing the film’s positive reaction across all international market, Sony exec Rory Bruer said: “This picture has such an incredible DNA and to be so loved by critics and audiences alike will push it be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Bond pics.”

Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, said: “To have Skyfall embraced at such unprecedented levels is tremendously exciting.”

The two-week early international debut of Skyfall was timed to give the film more breathing room internationally before other year-end tentpoles like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Meanwhile, Skyfall writer John Logan has already started scripting the next two Bond movies, which will tell an ongoing story across two separate films. Daniel Craig is confirmed to star in the two-parter, while director Sam Mendes has admitted that he would consider returning to the franchise.

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