Spectre Smashes Box Office Records with $80.12m in Opening Week

October 26th saw the UK release of Spectre (Eon/ MGM/Columbia), the latest instalment of the hugely successful James Bond franchise.  The film follows 007 on a rogue mission to uncover a sinister organisation, ‘Spectre’, leading him to reveal the terrible truth connecting his past and present.

Following the success of Skyfall in 2012, which opened to $77.7m over 25 markets without UK previews, Spectre has smashed box office records, amassing a total of $80.12m in its first 7 days over just six territories, with $63.8m contributed from UK sales alone. These figures make Spectre the biggest seven-day opening ever, rocketing past the record set by 2004’s Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (Warner Bros) which was also released on a Monday, to £23.88M at the time.

A Spectre-cal of UK locations

The Bond series is, of course, iconic within UK cinematic history. The very first James Bond film, Dr No (1962), was shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and at various UK locations and, as well as filming on location across the globe including Mexico, Italy, Austria and Morocco, the latest chapter has stayed true to tradition – Spectre was also shot at Pinewood Studios and on location in the UK.

Fittingly, London locations take centre stage: two boat rides down the iconic River Thames are featured in the film- one poignant, the other high-octane. We are also treated to a glimpse of Mr. Bond’s apartment in the equally iconic Notting Hill, as well as the unmistakeable ‘MI5’ building situated on the north bank of the Thames.

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire also features, the beautiful building doubling for a Roman villa, demonstrating the versatility of the location.

As one would expect with such a quintessentially British project, UK talent features heavily in the production team: director Sam Mendes, screenwriters Neil Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth and co-producers Callum MacDougall, Andrew Noakes – and Daniel Craig  receiving his first Bond co-producer credit. British talent appearing alongside Craig on screen include Naomie Harris returning as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’ and Ralph Fiennes as ‘M’.

UK VFX houses leading the way for Bond

Spectre also made full use of the UK’s world-class VFX companies including Bluebolt (Macbeth, The Imitation Game); Cinesite (Antman, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.); Double Negative (Alice Through the Looking Glass, Bridge of Spies); ILM (Antman); Moving Picture Company (Life of Pi, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and The Peerless Camera Company (London has Fallen, Victor Frankenstein) all of whom contributed to the awe-inspiring scenes and complex action sequences characteristic of Bond. British post production facilities were also well-represented in the end credits including Oscar-winning Warner Bros. De Lane Lea once again carrying out the sound re-recording and the legendary Abbey Road Studios where composer Thomas Newman’s soundtrack was recorded.

Nobody does it better…

Last but by no means least, and very proud to play our part, the British Film Commission was on hand to provide production support and troubleshooting throughout production.

Spectre is on international release from November.