Spectre sets new British box office record with £40m in first week

James Bond 007 Spectre behind the scenes 1

UK launch surpasses previous record holder Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, grossing more than £52m globally

The latest James Bond film Spectre has set a new British box office record, taking more than £40m in its first week. Globally, the film has grossed more than £52m, before its launch in the US on Friday.

The film received a generally positive critical response, including a five-star review from the Guardian, and reports suggested it was expected to make its mark in US cinemas.

Its British opening put it ahead of the previous record holder Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. But it has a long way to go to match the takings of the year’s biggest film so far, Jurassic World, which has grossed more than £1bn worldwide.

The film’s £200m budget means that it is some way off turning a profit, with one report suggesting the bill for cars written off during filming alone was £24m.

“We set the record for smashing up cars on Spectre,” Gary Powell, the film’s chief stunt coordinator, told the Mail on Sunday. “In Rome, we wrecked millions of pounds’ worth. They were going into the Vatican at top speeds of 110mph. We shot one entire night for four seconds of film.”

The Sam Mendes-directed Spectre is the 24th instalment of the Bond franchise and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing in the title role. He has given mixed signals over whether he intends to continue as Bond, leading to speculation over who might replace him if he decides to stand down.

In early October, he said he would rather “slash his wrists” than reprise the role. “No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on,” he said when asked in an open interview with Time Out magazine if he was considering another outing as Bond.

But in an interview with the Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine just days earlier, he was more equivocal. “It’s getting harder. But such is life. I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able. I’m contracted for one more – but I’m not going to make predictions,” he said.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Kevin Rawlinson, for theguardian.com on Monday 2nd November 2015 01.22 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010