The pandemic delayed many 2020 releases. Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond in No Time To Die is perhaps the most notable of these. MGM is the legendary studio responsible for the James Bond franchise. Since the start of the pandemic, the company has made progress on a deal with Amazon, wherein they’re selling the studio for $8.45 billion. Before they decided to sell the studio, MGM was banking big on their release for No Time To Die. It has been widely reported that the pandemic delays cost the studio big. Just in interest on their loans, MGM reportedly lost $1 million per month that they delayed the theatrical release. Apple offered them somewhere between $350 million to $400 million for a streaming release, which the studio reportedly scoffed at. They were determined to release No Time To Die in theaters, and they were determined that it would pay off. In the end, were the box office results worth the wait?
So far, we have the opening weekend numbers for No Time To Die. Deadline has reported that the Daniel Craig movie has brought in $56 million domestic. While numbers on Saturday were higher than many estimated, overall, the domestic weekend earnings came in lower than what many had hoped. No Time To Die saw the second-lowest opening weekend numbers for Daniel Craig’s James Bond films at the box office. For comparison, Skyfall opened to $88.3 million, Spectre to $70.4 million, and Quantum of Solace to $67.5 million.
No Time to Die was up against Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Sony’s Marvel sequel attracted a younger audience and appeared to not be too much competition for Daniel Craig’s final outing. Reports are showing that for a lot of people over 40 years old, the James Bond film was the first movie they’d gone out to see since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.
It’s worth noting that No Time To Die stands out from other James Bond films in several ways. Many in the audience specifically wanted to see this particular movie since it is Daniel Craig’s last time in the role. The long run time for the movie did shape some people’s opinions on whether they want to see it. This is the longest James Bond movie ever with a run time of two hours and forty-three minutes.
No Time To Die was released in some foreign markets a week before the United States and has still to release in some countries. Currently, the take for the movie is at $313.3 million. Will that be enough to pay off MGM’s gamble? While the studio itself hasn’t released a figure for what it will need to make, other outlets like Variety have speculated in the past. The best guess is that MGM will need to see the Daniel Craig movie earn $928 million by the time it finishes its run. Is that possible?
Pre-pandemic, outlets made fairly accurate guesses on these kinds of things. Today, outlets still try, but the movie theater business changes rapidly. Looking at the past, Spectre earned $70.4 million in its domestic opening weekend and a worldwide gross of $880 million in the worldwide box office at the end. Skyfall earned $88.3 million in its domestic opening weekend and then went on to make $1.1 billion worldwide.
It’s hard to imagine that No Time To Die, with a $56 million domestic opening weekend, will pick up enough to get nearly a billion worldwide. During the pandemic, we’ve seen steeper drops after opening weekends than we did in the past. The people who are going to the movie theaters go during the opening weekend, and fewer people follow up later. However, Deadline noted that 22% of the people who went to see Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie wanted to go back to see it a second time in movie theaters. MGM will clearly be watching to see if they follow through.