As I've mention here, I teach writing along with writing books. Lately, I've seen more and more students writing books that are so action packed that you can't catch your breath. While it's nice that their stories are active, what's missing is that connection to the characters. But when I try to point this out, the students resist, saying readers give up on books that aren't immediately fast paced. But then I pick up best selling novels and by cracky, while many of them do start with an intriguing sentence or two, the majority begin with a character and drop us into the character's world before yanking the reader into action.
It's my contention that while an active beginning might thrill or capture the reader's interest, if the author doesn't quickly give us some context about the character and why we should care, readers will easily tire of action, action, action. Without that context, the action becomes meaningless.
From a reader's point of view what intigues you about an opening? Is is someone with a gun in their face? Or is it okay to start the story slower, as long as the character is a intriguing person we can empathize with who has a problem that needs solving?