While Venom: Let There Be Carnage ripped up the domestic box office, Daniel Craig’s final James Bond outing No Time to Die was setting records in the International market, managing to become the first Hollywood movie to take over $100 million without the movie releasing in China. The film opened in 54 markets this weekend and gave further sign that the pandemic’s effect on cinema box office results is fading with No Time to Die pulling in almost $120 million.
The 25th James Bond adventure opened in many foreign territories ahead of its North American launch on 8th October and it seems that audiences felt they had waited long enough for the movie’s long-delayed arrival and flocked to theaters over the weekend, with the U.K. and Ireland accounting for a hefty chunk the weekend takings and saw a number of records relating to both the post-pandemic box office and the Bond franchise itself being broken in the process.
No Time to Die pulled in $11.4 million in the U.K. on Saturday, gaining the title as not only the highest-earning single day of the pandemic era, but also the highest single-day takings for any movie in the Bond series. The film is also seeing the widest release of any movie, opening in 772 theaters around the country, making it Universal’s widest release in the market, which will help Daniel Craig’s James Bond swansong become the third-largest weekend of the franchise, and the sixth biggest for any film.
There have been many movies that have been pinned with the hopes of blowing open the box office following the pandemic closures and a slow recovery over the last few months, but the constant delays of No Time to Die were always with the intention of having the movie play to the biggest possible audience when it finally opened. It seems that while the wait seems to have been never-ending, it looks like the strategy has paid off in a big way for the U.K. exhibitors in particular, with Bond always being a huge event in British cinemas. While Disney have been using Marvel’s releases to gauge the domestic market, Bond is easily another of those markers and it seems to have passed the test of consumer confidence in the cinematic experience.
“This was a huge team effort by all. The filmmakers delivered an outstanding film and we are very proud to play a part in this result with MGM and EON,” Universal International’s distribution chief Veronika Kwan Vandenberg said, while praising Bond producer Barbara Broccoli as being a “huge supporter of the theatrical experience, and it’s very gratifying to see the film achieve such heights during the pandemic.”
No Time to Die brings Daniel Craig’s time as Bond to a close after five movies, and thanks to the pandemic delays, he has now become the longest-serving Bond in the franchise’s history. In this last outing, Craig is joined by Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz who reprises his Spectre role as Blofeld. New to the cast this time around are also Rami Malek, Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch.
No Time to Die is open in many countries around the world now, and makes its North American debut on October 8th, when it will attempt to take the box office crown from this weekend’s release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which pulled in over $90 million across the three days. You can see all of the box office numbers for the weekend at The Numbers.