SATURDAY UPDATE: MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time To Die easily held on to the No. 1 spot in China on Saturday, adding an estimated $12M for a local two-day cume of RMB 127.3M ($19.9M). The opening weekend projection is now $29M, slightly lower than where we saw it yesterday and impacted by the Covid situation in the market (more on China below).
Overall, Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007 is set to pass $600M globally on Sunday. That would make NTTD only the second Hollywood title to reach the mark since Jumanji: The Next Level in January 2020 (Universal’s F9 being the other).
In further milestones, the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed No Time To Die is now the sixth highest grossing film of all time in the UK & Ireland, surpassing both Titanic and Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the last week. The film also broke another record this week after consecutively grossing over £1M for 29 days since release. This beats the previous record of 24 days held by Skyfall, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The market is expected to reach $116.8M this session, performing in line with Spectre and Skyfall at the same point of release.
Looking back to China, as previously noted (see Friday post below), the most widespread Covid outbreak has been seen this week since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been cinema closures in Beijing and the region is on high alert.
Still, when excluding Thursday midnights, No Time To Die’s 53% growth from Friday to Saturday is above the average 50% ratio. The Maoyan social score dipped slightly from 8.9 to 8.7, yet remains the best for all Bond movies. There’s potential here. We’ve seen that when a Hollywood movie in China has had a high rating and a decent competitive environment, it doesn’t immediately get played off (Free Guy is a recent example). Maoyan is now projecting an RMB 455.5M ($71.2M) full run for NTTD.
Meanwhile, local title The Battle At Lake Changjin has become the second highest grossing movie ever in China, surpassing Hi, Mom today with a cume through Saturday of RMB 5.45B ($851M). It is next expected to overtake Wolf Warrior 2 (RMB 5.69B) as the market’s No. 1 film of all time with a Maoyan-projected finish of RMB 5.71B ($892M).
We’ll have more on Sunday.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY: MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time To Die brought James Bond to China today, with an RMB 52M ($8.1M) No. 1 opening (including a smattering of Thursday midnights). This is the third biggest Hollywood opening day of 2021 in the market and is ahead of the launch days of the most recent comps Dune (+33%) and Free Guy (+53%). With a great social score, No Time To Die is now looking at a China bow in the $30M range.
However, this week has seen the most widespread Covid outbreak in China since the beginning of the pandemic. Approximately 13% of the market shut down, with further closures in Beijing today — the city has gone into high alert overnight with all cinemas in the Western District ordered to shut tomorrow and other districts may follow. There are already lockdowns in the northern cities (affecting 6.5% of the box office).
Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007 has a strong 8.9 audience score on Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan. That’s the highest ever given to a Bond film (Skyfall and Spectre both received an 8), It’s also on par with Disney/20th Century Studios’ Free Guy which went on to do just under $95M in the Middle Kingdom. Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune, which has grossed an estimated $29.2M locally through today, carries a 7.9. In terms of critical scores, NTTD currently has a 7.1 on Douban which is equivalent to Skyfall’s number and above that of Spectre. Dune is at 7.9; Free Guy had a 7.6.
After just one day of release, Maoyan is projecting a final for NTTD of RMB 499.1M ($80M). At historical rates, Spectre grossed $83.5M in China while Skyfall did $59.3M.
The market has lately been dominated by local propaganda blockbuster The Battle At Lake Changjin which has grossed about 5.4B ($844M) through today. Along with Dune, NTTD is one of the only recent Hollywood movies to release close to its domestic launch.
The Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed 25th James Bond movie began its international box office rollout in the UK on September 30 and released in 54 combined Universal and MGM markets during that frame, grossing $121.3M. It later traveled to North America and has now grossed a running $530M worldwide (this does not include China’s Friday).
We’ll have more updates throughout the weekend.