SATURDAY UPDATE, writethru: James Bond is back, and in a big way. Exceeding conservative pre-weekend projections and doing bang-up business across the first few days of release, MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time To Die is now poised for an estimated $112.9M opening weekend at the international box office. That means that through Sunday, the Daniel Craig-starrer will become the first Hollywood movie to launch to $100M+ overseas during the pandemic without China in the opening suite of markets.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and widely praised, Craig’s last turn as 007 added $27.2M on Friday across 54 Universal and MGM offshore markets. The Wednesday-Friday cume is $51.4M.
In like-for-likes and at current exchange rates No Time To Die is in line with Skyfall, and just 21% below Spectre, excluding previews — and that’s with restrictions still in place in some areas.
The UK naturally leads all play with a $14.2M cume through Friday. The full weekend is on track for $30M which would overtake Skyfall’s three-day debut and make NTTD the market’s top film of the pandemic era in just four days of release.
On Thursday No Time To Die scored the best IMAX opening day of the pandemic in 14 markets, including UK/Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, as well as the biggest IMAX opening day of the Bond franchise in nine markets, including UK/Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, and Hong Kong.
Overall for the debut session, Universal’s markets are expected to account for $88.5M while MGM’s will be at $24.4M. Here’s a closer look at individual markets, beginning with Uni’s hubs:
In the UK & Ireland Friday, 007 & Co added $7.6M, repping 92% of the total market. This is the third-highest ever Friday gross in October, and third-highest ever Friday gross in the Bond franchise. Friday’s box office overtook Thursday’s record-breaking opening day, claiming the highest single-day gross of the pandemic, and highest since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker in December 2019. It is the 12th highest-grossing Friday of all time. The Thursday and Friday scores make NTTD the 10th highest-grossing title the year.
Germany reached a $6.4M cume on Friday, adding a terrific $3.4M for the day. The full weekend estimate is $14.8M — and that’s great because coming in, Germany was one area of concern. Japan, which bowed Friday, opened to $1.6M, good for the biggest Friday opening day of the Bond franchise, and second-biggest MPA opening day of the pandemic. The weekend is expected to reach $5.9M, with all major exhibitors now operating at full capacity and no restrictions on show times.
Korea, which has been soft of late with high Covid cases and some restrictions in Seoul, is on track for a $4.4M opening Wed-Sun. Netherlands reached $1.6M on Friday, adding $899K that day, making it the biggest Friday opening day of all time for a Universal film, and the second-biggest opening Friday for a Bond film — surpassing Skyfall. No Time To Die is expected to reach $3.4M this weekend. Switzerland’s outstanding results continued on Friday, reaching a cume of $1.5M. No Time To Die has already broken records across the regions, claiming the biggest opening day of the pandemic, and the biggest September opening day of all time. In the German-speaking region, it scored the biggest opening day since Avengers: Endgame in April 2019. The weekend is on track to reach $3.3M. (A premiere was held earlier this week at the Zurich International Film Festival.)
Italy has cumed $1.1M through Friday, with an estimated $3M weekend amid 50% capacity requirements. Hong Kong’s great launch reached $1.5M on Friday, the biggest opening of the entire Bond franchise, the biggest September opening of all time, and the biggest non-holiday opening since the beginning of the pandemic. The weekend is estimated to get to $3.1M. Spain opened to $643K across 757 screens on Friday, taking over 50% of the total market and on track for a $2.3M session. The country is still operating with closures and restrictions that continue to impact the total market.
Austria opened to $447K on Friday following Thursday previews to reach $838K through yesterday. This is the biggest MPA September opening day ever, biggest opening day of the pandemic, and third biggest since January 2019. No Time To Die accounted for 72% of the total market from 326 screens. The weekend is expected to be $1.9M.
India reached a $741K cume on Friday and is expected to go on to $1.8M this weekend. Taiwan lifted to $571K on Friday following Thursday previews and scored the biggest opening Friday of 2021. No Time To Die accounts for over 70% of the market, and is looking at $1.6M for the weekend. Belgium bumped up to $684K with Friday, and is on track to become the biggest September opening of all time with $1.5M, having already claimed the biggest opening day of 2021.
Mexico’s cume through Friday is $1M, in line with Skyfall. The full frame should land just above that pic with $1.8M. Brazil has a $452K cume through Friday for an expected $1.5M debut.
Here are the MGM market estimates:
Scandinavia is overperforming with Denmark opening to a fantastic $2M across Thursday and Friday. No Time To Die is expected to become the biggest opening ever in Denmark with a $4.1M weekend. Worth noting that Denmark was the 8th best offshore market on Spectre overall.
Sweden bowed to $1.9M Thursday and Friday, accounting for 79% of the total market. The cume for the weekend is expected to go on to $3.8M which would best both Spectre and Skyfall excluding previews. Finland gave this Bond $1M across Thursday and Friday, and is expected to be the biggest opening of the pandemic with $2.7M for the full frame. Norway debuted with $835K on Friday, accounting for 87% of the total market and looking at $2.3M for the session — the biggest opening of the pandemic, and the 9th biggest opening of all-time.
Poland launched with $723K on Friday, and is also expected to be the biggest opening of the pandemic era at $2.1M.
The Middle East opened on 985 screens across the region, making it the biggest release in the market this year. UAE and Saudi Arabia grossed $762K and $625K, respectively, on Friday after strong Thursday openings. The weekend for the Middle East is estimated to do over $5M.
We’ll have a full update on Sunday.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY UPDATE, writethru: Full numbers for Wednesday and Thursday show MGM/Eon/Universal’s James Bond pic No Time To Die at a cumulative $22M through two days of early release at the international box office. That includes $20M from just yesterday in such markets as the UK, Brazil, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The figures put 007 on track to top pre-weekend projections of $90M through Sunday.
As a reminder, in like-for-like markets at today’s exchange rates, 2015’s Spectre did $123.5M; 2012’s Skyfall came in at $109.2M; and, more recently, Universal’s latest Fast & Furious franchise entry F9 did $69.5M.
No Time To Die will overtake the latter, and if it gets close to either of the last two Bond pics, it will be a validation for the film, its partners and the theatrical business. Many believe that after all the stops and starts, if any movie can get people back into cinemas in the pandemic era, the latest in this decades-old franchise is the one. NTTD is still carrying an 83% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. It releases domestically on October 8.
In Bond’s home market, the UK, No Time To Die grossed a confirmed $6.6M on Thursday, accounting for 94% of all box office there. This is the third-highest opening day of the Bond franchise, 14% above Spectre (Monday opening), and just 30% behind Skyfall (Friday opening). The Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed installment now holds UK records for the highest single day gross in September, the highest single day of the pandemic, and the highest single day since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opened during the holiday period of December 2019.
As noted in yesterday’s update below, the Daniel Craig-starrer launched with the widest theatrical release of all time in the UK and Ireland. It’s playing in 772 cinemas across 3,600 screens, and will have 9,000 daily shows over the weekend. Following the London world premiere on Tuesday, the film has continued generating big news in the UK. Bond is pretty much everywhere there, from busses to billboards and boutiques (ie, Orlebar Brown is touting a line of square-cut 007 swim shorts). Passing through Heathrow airport this afternoon, I spied a report on one of the major news channels about the secret life of secret agents which, natch, included footage from No Time To Die.
Early results from Japan, which bowed today, indicate a Friday opening day of $1.7M, the biggest Friday opening day of the Bond franchise, and second-biggest MPA opening day of the pandemic. All major exhibitors are now operating at full capacity with no restrictions on show times.
Looking back at the other early openers from Wednesday and Thursday, Germany‘s opening gross was $2.8M on Thursday from over 1,300 screens, and good for 84% of the total market and more than 10x second-placed Dune (which is in its third frame). This is the biggest opening day of the pandemic, more than doubling Fast 9, and the second-biggest September opening day ever behind local production Fack Ju Goehte 2.
Korea tood a total $1.3M across Wednesday and Thursday, opening with afternoon shows on Wednesday and setting the biggest Culture Day opening for a Hollywood film in 2021 (the last Wednesday of the month).
Denmark grossed $1M on opening day, more than 85% of the market’s total box office; Sweden took $990K.
The Middle East opened NTTD on 985 screens across the region, this is the biggest release there this year. The cume for the region through Thursday is $1.7M.
Netherlands grossed $681K on Thursday, taking 75% of the market and taking more than 10x second-placed Dune (third weekend). This is the fifth biggest Thursday opening of all time, the biggest ever for Universal, the top for a September release, and the biggest of the pandemic. The opening day is just 7% below Spectre, and 48% above Skyfall. This result is despite mandatory health passes and capacity restrictions.
Elsewhere, Switzerland made $615K on Thursday (the biggest opening day of the pandemic, and the biggest September opening day of all time).
Mexico opened to $588K across Wednesday and Thursday, 37% above Skyfall’s opening Thursday. Italy bowed with $573K despite strong Covid restrictions in the market and setting the biggest opening Thursday of the pandemic, and sixth-biggest of the last 10 years of Thursday openings. There is reportedly exceptional performance in Matera where some scenes from the movie were shot.
Hong Kong scored $544K on Thursday, capturing 77% of the market. This is the biggest opening day of the entire Bond franchise, the biggest September opening day of all time, and the biggest non-holiday opening day since the beginning of the pandemic.
Austria had a strong opening day with 79% market share across 326 screens, the widest release in digital times. The film delivered $397K on Thursday, the biggest MPA September opening day of all time (second biggest behind local title Fack Ju Goehte 2), and the third biggest opening day since January 2019. The total market increased 192% on Thursday vs last week.
India opened to $381K, the widest release since the second wave of the pandemic. The market remains impaired, but No Time To Die achieved the third-biggest September opening day of all-time.
Belgium opened to $325K on Thursday, the best September launch day of all time, and the biggest opening day of 2021. Thursday’s result was 29% above Fast 9, and just 31% below Spectre which released during holidays.
Brazil kicked off with $207K on Thursday, 22% below Spectre, and accounting for 73% of the total market.
No Time to Die still has an additional 15 international markets to go, including France (Oct 6), Russia (Oct 7), China (Oct 29) and Australia (Nov 11).
We’ll continue updating No Time To Die’s overseas rollout over the coming days.
PREVIOUSLY, THURSDAY: MGM/Eon/Universal’s highly-anticipated No Time To Die has clocked an estimated $6.2M-$6.8M (£4.5M-£5M) in the UK on its opening day today. Daniel Craig’s final turn as legendary secret agent 007 came in about 13% above Spectre (Monday opening) and just 26% below Skyfall (Friday opening). The Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed pic is enjoying the widest theatrical release of all time in the market with 772 cinemas playing the film amid buzz and excitement aplenty.
More than 30,000 people attended midnight screenings in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday night. No Time To Die sold a spectacular 1.62M advance tickets for the opening four days, surpassing Spectre’s total advance bookings by over 12% and performing in line with Skyfall at the same time pre-release.
The 25th James Bond movie began international box office rollout on Wednesday in Korea, and added the UK today along with majors Germany, Brazil and Italy — we will have updated figures from those markets tomorrow, when Japan, Mexico and Spain also officially start their engines. In total, over 50 offshore markets are going this frame; domestic and further overseas hubs open next weekend and China is dated October 29.
After several pandemic-induced release date changes, audiences are saying, “Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you.” The UK in particular has been all aflutter with excitement. A lavish, jam-packed and royally-attended world premiere was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night while Vue held an invite-only screening at its Leicester Square venue on Wednesday evening. The film set the record for highest advance sales of all time for the Everyman, Picturehouse and Curzon circuits.
The UK naturally is Bond’s strongest performer and set a series of records on Spectre, which had a seven-day opening including previews; the No Time To Die rollout is different in that it began on a Thursday.
Elsewhere, Korea launched with afternoon shows on Wednesday, grossing a strong $665K from 2,167 screens, by far the widest release of the franchise. Thursday added another $590K for a total of $1.35M so far, and more than 60% of the market.
Mexico‘s first preview day came in at No. 1 with $300K from 2,625 screens. No Time To Die achieved 64% market share, grossing almost 7x the second-placed film. Attendance was strong across the country.
While industry projections factored a roughly $90M opening frame for No Time To Die, some think the Aston Martin could speed past that number. As a reminder, in like-for-like markets at today’s exchange rates, 2015’s Spectre did $123.5M; 2012’s Skyfall came in at $109.2M; and, more recently, Universal’s latest Fast & Furious franchise entry F9 did $69.5M.
No Time To Die will overtake the latter, and if it gets close to either of the last two Bond pics, it will be a huge validation for the film, its partners and the theatrical business.
Many have indicated to us that if any movie can get folks back into cinemas in the pandemic era — and recall that Bond skews slightly older, a demo that has been somewhat reticent to return — the latest in this enduring franchise is the one. Reviews have been great with an 83% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. And even some of those who have complaints agree with the consensus that this is a very fitting and emotional farewell to Craig in his fifth go-round.
We will be back throughout the weekend with updates on No Time To Die’s overseas rollout.