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Latest Bond Film Hits Its Mark

'No Time to Die' sets no records but posts fourth-best opening in franchise history
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2021 11:55 AM CDT
Latest Bond Film Hits Its Mark
From left, Lashana Lynch, Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, and Cary Joji Fukunaga attend the world premiere of "No Time To Die" in London on Sept. 28.   (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – After over 18 months of pandemic delays, No Time to Die opened on target. The final James Bond film of the Daniel Craig era grossed $56 million from 4,407 North American theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday, to easily take the first-place spot. It didn't break any pandemic or 007 records, the AP reports, but it didn't fall significantly short either and is in fact the fourth-best opening in the 25-film series. James Bond isn't Marvel when it comes to opening weekends. Bond has always had an older audience that's typically less inclined to rush out for the first weekend. In fact, the best Bond opening ever didn’t crack $100 million. That was for Skyfall, in 2012, at $88.4 million.

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"It's been a long time coming to get this movie on the big screen," said Erik Lomis, head of distribution for United Artists Releasing. "It's right where we thought it would be and right where tracking predicted it would be." Critics and audiences have responded positively (84% on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- CinemaScore). Unlike many films released during the pandemic, No Time to Die was never considered for a streaming or hybrid release. In addition to being the longest Bond film ever at 2 hours, 43 minutes, it was also an expensive one, with a reported production budget around $250 million. And that doesn’t include marketing costs, which reportedly exceeded $100 million.

According to North American distributor United Artists Releasing, 25% of moviegoers returned to theaters for the first time in 18 months this weekend, suggesting that the film will have legs. But the profitability of Bond movies ultimately comes down to international, which in the Craig era has regularly accounted for over 70% of the global total. No Time to Die launched abroad last weekend, with Universal handling some territories and MGM others, and as of Sunday global grosses were estimated to be over $313.3 million.

(Read more box office stories.)

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