Latest James Bond Film Falls Behind Predecessors as Covid-19 Concerns Linger

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‘No Time to Die’ opened for an estimated $56 million in the US and Canada after a delay of more than a year

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For example, in 2015, “Spectre” opened to $70 million, while the 2012 hit “Skyfall” premiered at $88 million. Of the five Bond films starring Daniel Craig as a secret agent, “No Time to Die” has the second slowest debut.

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Covid-19 appears to be partly to blame. Bond films in recent years have attracted older audiences than blockbusters produced by Marvel Studios or based on other sequel-generating characters. That older demographic has proved most reluctant to return to theaters, which helps explain why the recent releases “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” topped expectations. and drawn into the crowd.

“No Time to Die” has served as yet another metric on where the country’s theatrical business stands after a year of suspensions and shutdowns. “No Time to Die” was one of the first films to delay release as COVID-19 hit the world in March 2020, and several subsequent schedule changes indicated that the pandemic was not initially expected. was going to last longer. Now its performance still shows growing pains to come, as big-budget releases that rely on sales from all kinds of filmmakers see only certain demographics returning to auditoriums in pre-pandemic numbers.

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United Artists Releasing, which operates from its studio, MGM Holdings Inc. For Distributes Bond Movies, conducted a survey of opening-weekend audiences in six cities and found that nearly one-quarter of movie audiences who watched “No Time to Die” this weekend were not. For a film in 18 months.

“You have to get used to them coming back,” said Eric Lomis, president of distribution at United Artists Releasing. “Kids from 18 to 34 are driving the box office now,” he said, “and 57% of this weekend’s Bond audience was over 35.”

In contrast, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which has attracted younger filmmakers, collected $32 million in its second week, bringing the total to $142 million. It was released by Sony Group of the corporation

Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Overseas, Gross was healthy for “No Time to Die”. The film has so far earned an additional $257 million from international markets, where MGM splits distribution duties with Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures.

In “No Time To Die” Mr Craig is in his final turn as 007. The actor is credited with reviving the franchise since getting the role in 2006’s “Casino Royale”.

In franchise-obsessed Hollywood, James Bond is still one of the marquee properties, and the character was one of’s crown jewels. Inc. NS

The acquisition of MGM was announced earlier this year. The tech company is paying off $6.5 billion, excluding loans, for the storied studio best known for the hits of Hollywood’s so-called Golden Era, including recent classics like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Are included.

But Amazon will not control Bond, which is primarily managed by Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, half-brothers who inherited the rights to the character from Ms. Broccoli’s father in 1995.

Both have important creative roles in the franchise, including deciding who steps into 007’s shoes. Although the purchase of MGM by Amazon was seen as a doubling down on its streaming strategy, the makers have said they are committed to keeping James Bond films on the big screen.

During months of coronavirus-related delays, rumors swirled around Hollywood that MGM might be unloading “No Time to Die” for a streaming service that would allow it to premiere in-house, as did other studios leading the way. With the title.

“We kept this film long enough so that we could get it where it was intended to be seen,” Mr. Lomis said.

Erich Schwartzel [email protected] Feather


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