November Man: Pierce Brosnan as CIA Agent

“The November Man” centers on an ex-CIA agent, played by Pierce Brosnan, who finds himself embroiled in a wide-ranging conspiracy.

Relativity is distributing “The November Man,” which opened in 2,774 theaters in North America on Wednesday.

“The November Man” has launched with a first-day gross of $862,000, signaling that the action thriller will probably turn in a modest performance over the Labor Day weekend.

Relativity acquired the title earlier this year for $3 million, in line with its model for low-risk, moderately budgeted films — aiming to reach an older audience that’s widely perceived as underserved and well aware of Brosnan. The film has received a B+ CinemaScore.

Early projections placed “The November Man” in the $9 million to $11 million range for the four-day holiday weekend. The only other wide opener is Universal’s found-footage horror film “As Above, So Below,” which opens Friday and is also expected to be a modest performer at 2,637 theaters.

Production companies are Irish Dreamtime and Das Films in association with The Solution Entertainment Group, Palmstar Media Capital and Merced Media Partners.

“The November Man” was on the radar for Pierce Brosnan and producing partner Beau St. Clair after Brosnan retired from his role of James Bond in 2005.

Though originally scripted for Berlin, the film’s director, Roger Donaldson, needed to scope out new locations to satisfy production costs.

Donaldson wanted to shoot in Belgrade, Serbia, as well as base the film’s script in Serbia, after his production crew recommended he visit. “We’ve seen Berlin a lot of times, but we’ve never seen Serbia in a commercial movie. So I was very enthusiastic about shooting it in Serbia,” Donaldson explained. “The Serbian people and the Serbian crew, nobody ever, ever complained about anything, they just worked their butts off.”

Brosnan, who described his lead character of Peter Devereaux as a “cultured badass, kind of sassy operative, loner,” discussed his excitement for doing action scenes with his friends on the Serbian set, many of whom worked with him on the “James Bond” franchise.

“We shot for real on the streets of Belgrade, Serbia, they were so great to us,” Brosnan said. “They gave us palaces and the government buildings. They let us run around in their city with guns and explosions and car chase sequences!”

Though Olga Kurylenko, who plays the mysterious Alice Fournier, enjoyed the exotic experience, she couldn’t help but complain about the setting, just a little. “It was summer, it was July, it was 40 degrees (Celsius), it was really hot,” Kurylenko said. “Otherwise, apart from that, it was really great. We shot a lot on streets, so basically in transport, tramways, cars everywhere, people moving. So it’s actually quite hectic, but we managed it very well.”

The choice of Serbia eventually came to be loved by the cast and crew not only as a filming location, but also as a spot to vacation and travel.

Donaldson said he and his family would likely return to the country in the future. “My kids went to school there while we were making the movie. They actually wanted to go back there for a holiday, that’s how much they enjoyed it. They’ve got their Serbian friends they talk to on Skype now.”

Kurylenko, who had never been to Belgrade, took an interest in the local culture. “I’m always interested in the language, and I always try to see if I can understand. I was talking to people, and trying to understand what they were talking about. For me, I’m passionate about languages. It was great and the people were lovely.”