In a major boost for the beleaguered cinema sector, No Time to Die has notched up the highest opening weekend UK takings of any 007 movie.
The James Bond film made £25.9m between Friday and Sunday, according to box office trackers Comscore.
It beat Skyfall’s first weekend takings of £20.2m and Spectre’s £19.8m. Those films sit at numbers two and three in the all-time UK box office chart.
Universal Pictures also confirmed that the 25th instalment in the series - which marks Daniel Craig’s final outing as the iconic secret agent - grossed £89m internationally.
Many in the industry are hoping No Time to Die will kickstart the box office after cinemas shut during the pandemic.
Whereas some studios have released movies on streaming platforms at the same time as they hit cinemas - a trend accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic - Universal and MGM opted to release the film exclusively in theatres.
No Time to Die opened in 772 cinemas in the UK and Ireland on Thursday - 25 more than the previous record-holder, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, in 2019.
When Skyfall made its big screen debut nine years ago, it opened in 587 cinemas.
Attention will soon turn to how No Time to Die performs in the US and Canada when the film opens there on 8 October.
Global release dates, including the crucial China market, are scheduled for later this month and November.
The box office market in the US and Canada currently appears to be in rude health, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage taking $90.1m (£66.3m) on its debut this weekend, setting a new pandemic-era record.
The supervillain sequel starring Tom Hardy also beat the original film’s first weekend haul of $80.1m in 2018.
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