'Spectre' has $28 million Friday, aims for big James Bond opening

Will 'Spectre' be Daniel Craig's last Bond movie?
Will 'Spectre' be Daniel Craig's last Bond movie?

After a few slow weeks at the box office, this weekend looks to have a license to kill thanks to Bond, James Bond, returning to theaters.

"Spectre," the 24th installment in the spy franchise, hit U.S. theaters this weekend and shot through the box office making $28 million for its opening day on Friday.

The film, starring Daniel Craig as the suave British spy, has already had a record-breaking opening in the United Kingdom. It looks to be taking aim for one of the biggest Bond openings ever.

Hollywood analysts have projected that the film will bring in $80 million to $85 million for its opening in North America. If the film lands on the higher end of that forecast it could have a chance at becoming the biggest Bond opening ever -- passing the $88.3 million that "Skyfall" made in 2012.

The studios distributing the film, Sony and MGM, are being more conservative with expectations, predicting a U.S. opening closer to $75 million after Friday's totals.

"Coming off of 'Skyfall' the property is as popular as it has ever been," said Phil Contrino, chief box office analyst at BoxOffice.com. "The marketing campaign is strong and the trailers have been action packed."

The brands behind James Bond
The brands behind James Bond

Related: 'Spectre' shoots to record box office opening in U.K.

Contrino also made the point that the James Bond franchise is a series that thrives off of its unique villains. Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz represents "a perfect Bond villain," who could help bring more people to theaters.

The box office of "Spectre" may also get a boost seeing as it could be the final film in which Craig plays 007.

This is the fourth time that Craig has played Bond since 2006's "Casino Royale," and for many fans he's rivaled only by Sean Connery.

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The box office would seemingly agree seeing that Craig's three films have averaged $240 million at the U.S. box office, when accounting for inflation. This is second only to Connery whose six films averaged $345 million.

Craig was quoted as saying that he'd rather "slash my wrists" than play Bond again, but he clarified those comments on NBC's "Today on Thursday" saying that he had a "massive amount of fun" making "Spectre."

While no one is sure if we'll see Craig in the bow tie and tux once more, Contrino feels that if Craig does move on, James Bond, a prolific billion dollar movie franchise, shouldn't be too shaken or stirred.

"The franchise is in great shape, and if they find a new actor with a new take on it, then I think James Bond fans would still be more than receptive to the series," Contrino said.


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