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The latest James Bond film, Spectre has been something of a financial nightmare from the beginning. The amount of money it needs to make simply to break even for the studio is massive. The light at the end of that tunnel just got a little bit brighter for the producers however, Spectre’s Thursday night business was bigger than Skyfall which is great news to start the weekend for the studios, who need a big hit.

In 2012 Skyfall did $4.6 million on Thursday night on its way to grossing over $88 million for the weekend. The Hollywood Reporter says that Spectre did $5.25 million last night which at least, in theory, means that the film could have an even bigger opening weekend than Skyfall. An opening weekend of $100 million would go an awfully long way toward the $650 million the film is expected to need just to break even. Early reports were that Sony and MGM were expecting something more in the $70 to $75 million range for the weekend.

The higher than expected overnight numbers are, at the very least, a strong indication that the film will have a good weekend. They also match up with the huge numbers that the movie has been putting up in the UK for the last week. It's been tracking ahead of the previous movie there as well. Even if the final numbers are more in line with the expectations, rather than exceeding them, it will still be a strong start. Skyfall ended up doing more than $1 billion in business and the studios will likely be happy if Spectre even gets close. The early reviews have not been as strong as Skyfall which means the movie may not have the legs to last over the long haul as that film did. They need the opening weekend to be as big as humanly possible.

The good news is that the only real competition out there this weekend is The Peanuts Movie which is unlikely to draw a lot of people away from a James Bond movie, it’s what’s called "counter-programming." Peanuts is looking to draw in the families and other folks who are looking for a movie to go to but aren’t interested in what James Bond has to offer. The last PG-13 action movie we got was Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter which did not perform well. This means Bond will also benefit from a movie going public that is hungry for a solid action movie.

Is Spectre on your "to-do" list this weekend? Let us know how excited you are for Bond’s latest outing. Is it a must see, or just a maybe?

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