Bond Has Record 'Day' at U.S. Box Office
Sun Nov 24,11:00 PM ET
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Super spy James Bond outwitted young wizard Harry Potter at the North American box office, stirring up a new record for the venerable 007 franchise, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.
"Die Another Day," marking Pierce Brosnan's fourth assignment as the suave English agent, opened at No. 1 with an estimated three-day tally of $47 million from 3,314 theaters across the United States and Canada.
It beat the record held by the last Bond movie, "The World Is Not Enough," which opened with $35.5 million in 1999. It also marks the second-biggest bow for distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc, after last year's "Hannibal" ($58 million).
Last weekend's champ, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," slipped to No. 2 with $42.4 million from 3,682 theaters in its second round. "Friday After Next," the third installment in rapper Ice Cube's "Friday" comedies, opened at No. 3 with $13.1 million from about 1,600 theaters.
The Bond film marks the 20th official release since Sean Connery kicked off the series with "Dr. No" in 1962. The $125 million production was directed by New Zealander Lee Tamahori.
Oscar-winner Halle Berry co-starred as Jinx, an American spy who teams up with Bond to take on a North Korean bad guy. Her casting brought out more black moviegoers than usual, said Erik Lomis, MGM's president of theatrical distribution.
"COOLEST GUY ON EARTH" Exit polling indicated 85 percent of all moviegoers rated "Die Another Day" either very good or excellent
, with 70 percent saying they would definitely recommend it, Lomis said. "I think that the public thinks that James Bond is the coolest guy on Earth."