The new James Bond flick, “No Time to Die,” opened in the US this weekend with less bang and more whispers.
The latest installment of Bond reeled in $56 million at the US and Canadian box office, according to MGM, the studio behind the spy film, starring Daniel Craig as 007.
While that number was in line with MGM’s expectations of the film, which ranged from $55 million to $60 million over the weekend, it was a silent performance, lagging behind previous Bond franchises.
“No Time to Die,” which is Craig’s last stint as Bond, has been a big part of it during the pandemic. The film was delayed by more than a year due to COVID-19, and even though theaters around the world have largely reopened, concerns over the pandemic have tripled the film’s box office performance relative to other Bond flicks. Have given.
For example, in 2015, “Spectre” opened to $70 million, while the 2012 hit “Skyfall” opened at $88 million.
The results indicate some resistance to returning to films while the coronavirus is still spreading, according to United Artists Releasing, which distributes Bond films for MGM.
The theater company conducted a survey of opening weekend audiences in six US cities and found that nearly one-quarter of movie audiences who watched “No Time to Die” this weekend hadn’t seen a movie in 18 months.
Eric Lomis, president of United Artists Releasing, told The Wall Street Journal that the box office was driving young customers.
“Kids ages 18 to 34 are now running at the box office,” Lomis said, adding that 57 percent of this weekend’s Bond audience was over 35. Typically, older audiences are Bond fans, but that demographic has been more reluctant to return to the theatre.
“You have to get used to them coming back,” Lomis said.
However, the bond’s performance overseas has been much stronger.
“No Time to Die”, which is distributed overseas by Universal Pictures, has so far earned $257 million from international markets – without help from the top film market, China. The flick is set to debut there on October 29.
With the silent opening of Bond’s North American, 2021 has a bang on the overall box office. In recent months, it is showing strong signs of finally recovering after 18 months of movie theater closures, limited capacity reopenings and a paucity of new Hollywood films.
According to Gower Street Analytics, the global box office is on track to earn $20.2 billion this year, up 68 percent from pandemic-ravaged 2020, which clocks in at about $12 billion.
But 2021 is still a far cry from the record-breaking year of 2019, which reeled in $42.5 billion.