Sony Pictures is spying a hit in its latest James Bond film, as "Skyfall" debuted at No. 1 in 25 foreign countries this weekend.
The film, starring Daniel Craig in the 23rd entry featuring 007, collected an impressive $77.7 million overseas this weekend, according to an estimate from Sony, which is distributing the film internationally. "Skyfall," financed by Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for just under $200 million, doesn't hit U.S. theaters until Nov. 9.
Of the 25 international markets the film played in this weekend, it easily did best on Bond's home turf, the United Kingdom. The picture sold $32.4 million worth of tickets there — the biggest opening of the year so far and 30% ahead of the opening for Craig's last Bond film, 2008's "Quantum of Solace."
Business was also strong in France, where the movie grossed $9.1 million, and in Russia, where receipts amounted to $8.6 million. The last installment in the franchise, "Solace," ultimately collected $417.7 million abroad — roughly 71% of its worldwide gross.
The strong international bow for "Skyfall" bodes well for its U.S. prospects, especially since early reviews have been exceptionally positive. As of Sunday, the movie had earned a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.