'Skyfall' breaks UK box office record

Skyfall recorded its biggest opening in the UK, making it one of the successful films in the franchise.

Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Skyfall set the record for the biggest UK weekend box office takings of any James Bond film, its producers said on Monday.

The 23rd official cinematic adventure of the suave, but brutal 007, earned 20.1 million pounds after opening last Friday at 587 cinemas across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"We are absolutely overwhelmed with the reaction to _Skyfall _this weekend," producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement. "It is particularly thrilling as the UK is home to James Bond and it being the 50th anniversary year."

The film, which had its royal world premiere in London last week and opens in the United States on Nov 9, brings together Daniel Craig on his third outing on Her Majesty's secret service with British director Sam Mendes making his franchise debut.

The plot also puts veteran actress Judi Dench, 77, at the heart of the action as Bond's boss M, and introduces Spanish Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as a flamboyant villain complete with dyed blond hair.

Marking 50 years after the first Bond film Dr. No premiered in London in 1962, Skyfall has been hailed by the critics as a triumphant return to form after 2008's tepidly received Quantum of Solace.