Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond may mark his first-ever failed mission at the box office.
Despite a myriad of delays, interest in the film has not seemed to wain. The film was originally supposed to drop in November of 2019, but the studio postponed the release date to April of 2020 after Danny Boyle was swapped out in the director’s chair for Cary Fukunaga. Unfortunately, that was an ill-fated new release date as the coronavirus began to rage and Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007 became one of the first films to delay its release date specifically as a result of the coronavirus.
Now, long after the film has wrapped and with much attention being paid to when it will finally hit theaters as movies have come and gone after similar release delays, fans may have to wait even longer to see Daniel Craig’s story wrap up in light of poor box office estimates that could potentially make the movie nothing but a huge money sink.
According to Bond news site MI6-HQ, No Time To Die was poised to be one of the most expensive Bond films ever shot by Daniel Craig or any actor to take up the mantle of Britain’s top spy. While it would make sense to send the latest iteration of the character out with a bang, no one was expecting an unprecedented global pandemic. Given delays and interest rates and ad revenue costs, the outlet estimates that the film carried a roughly $464 million price tag. This is in keeping with previous estimates from Variety when it was reported the film might have been sold to Netflix as a streaming exclusive.
As a result, No Time To Die would need to profit at the box office to the tune of an estimated $928 million to be considered a worthwhile venture for MGM. While the combined star power of Daniel Craig and the reliability of a franchise like James Bond would have made that easy in 2019, good luck breaking nearly $1 billion at the box office amid the pandemic, especially as cases continue to rise.
One needs only to look at similar reliable tentpoles like the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow or the highly anticipated ninth installment in Vin Diesel’s vanity project, The Fast and the Furious franchise. Both were said to have had impressive runs at the box office, with F9 earning more than $600 million worldwide. Black Widow meanwhile, raked in $264 million over its first 10 days. Both of those movies were considered wildly successful in the time of the coronavirus, and both fell very, very short of the $928 million that Daniel Craig’s No Time To Die is estimated to need in order to make it worth anyone’s while.
Some speculate that another delay in release is in the cards. After all, that would solve the problem of theater closures and limited capacity putting a measurable cap on how much it can make in its opening weekend — especially as Deadline reports pandemic-era box office tentpoles are seeing a steep second-week decline. However, delays also cost money, and simply kicks the kickball into another field of uncertainty as the delta variant and low vaccination numbers in key markets continue to plague the theater industry. In short, it’s possible that Daniel Craig may have to take an L when it comes to the profitability of his James Bond legacy.