U.K. all in for new 'Casino'


Daniel Craig's performance as the new James Bond is going down as smooth as a shaken martini in Great Britain.

According to early numbers from Thursday's opening of "Casino Royale" in the U.K., the film is shaping up as the largest Bond opener ever on the superspy's native soil.

Rated PG-13, the film from director Martin Campbell grossed £1.7 million ($3.2 million) during its opening day. That compares favorably with 2002's "Die Another Day," which notched a Thursday opening number of £1.1 million.

"Casino," which opened in 988 theaters in the U.K., generated a per-theater average of £1,731 ($3,267) compared with "Day," which bowed in 830 theaters to a per-theater average of £1,339.

Opening today in 3,434 theaters in the U.S., the film is expected to perform in the $40 million range for the weekend in the opinion of boxoffice prognosticators. "Die Another Day" bowed to $47 million its opening weekend in the U.S., but it featured a known Bond in Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry as that feature's Bond girl.