Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond film, has broken the British record for a Friday opening, according to distributors Sony.

The 22nd film about the secret agent took £4.9 million at UK cinemas on Friday, smashing the previous record of £4.025 million, set by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Directed by Finding Neverland helmer Marc Forster, the 106-minute film also easily surpassed the opening day takings of its predecessor Casino Royale, which took £2.9 million in 2006.

Despite Bond's box office popularity, Quantum of Solace - which takes it name from an Ian Fleming short story - has received mixed reviews.

The Daily Telegraph's Mark Monahan wrote: "See it for Craig's fully-formed Bond: angry, icily unsentimental, and fleetingly borderline psychotic at the close."

However, he added: "The expository dialogue scenes can be dull, and cram in so many machinations and double-crossings that it's easy to lose track of who's duping whom."

The Times' James Christopher called it "an intriguing watch". "Really, nobody does it better than the new 007," he claimed.

But Anthony Quinn, writing in the Independent, noted: "There's nothing so fatiguing as a movie that won't stop trying to excite you the whole time.

"We all know what it is to be bored to death, but have you ever been entertained to death?"

And inthenews.co.uk's Matthew Champion complained of the film's muddled plot and high body count.

"Craig's Bond is a stony-faced killer - an outlook which matches his occupation - and while his performance as 007 is the film's strongest point, his lack of charisma may eventually leave viewers just as cold," he wrote.

"In the end, confusion over what it is trying to achieve and its callow director makes Quantum of Solace to Casino Royale what Tomorrow Never Dies is to GoldenEye."

03/11/2008 08:40:38