Bond business makes a killing out of Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan has been confirmed as the most profitable ever James Bond after his new film Tommorow Never Dies topped ticket sales of $140m (pounds 84m) world-wide since opening 10 days ago.

The film's makers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, said yesterday that sales had been "better than expected". The studio said American box office receipts total $62.2m (pounds 38m) to date, up 9 per cent on 1995's GoldenEye, the previous film based on the fictional superspy codenamed 007.

Box-office receipts across the rest of the world, including Britain, are at $77.8m, 19 per cent higher than GoldenEye in the same period.

GoldenEye had been the most successful film in the Bond franchise with total world-wide ticket sales of about $350m, $106m domestically and $244m overseas.

In America, Brosnan's Bond has done well in a Christmas film season that has been described as the most competitive ever.

It was up against the $200m blockbuster Titanic, Quentin Tarantino's new offering Jackie Brown and Stephen Spielberg's Amistad. In total, Americans spent a record $140m at the cinema in the three days after Christmas.