Weekend Wrap Up - a look at this week’s Industry Updates

October 11, 2021

No Time to Die was one of two films (the other being Trolls World Tour) that were the first to be delayed during the pandemic. Originally slated for April 10 of last year, Daniel Craig’s swan song and the 25th chapter in the long-running 007 movie franchise was locked away by MGM studios until the state of the pandemic improved. It took 18 months, but No Time to Die finally stepped into theaters this past weekend and walked away with $56M. Although it is not the $100M that was optimistically predicted, this debut was on the low-end of more realistic expectations ($60M – $70M) – and is still this year’s fifth largest opening.

Despite once being a household name, the 007 films are not the mainstream powerhouse they once were. The last time Daniel Craig stepped into the M16 agent’s shoes was 2015’s Spectre – six years ago. No Time to Die’s debut is in line with normal drops within a franchise: the $56M debut is ~ 20% drop from Spectre’s $70M, which was also a 20% drop from 2012’s Skyfall. It is also the longest film in the franchise – clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes.

Unlike this year’s three Marvel films and F9No Time to Die’s audience skews much older. Reportedly, 57 % of Bond’s audience was over 35. In contrast, more than 66% of the audience of Venom: Let There Be Carnage was under 35, last weekend. MGM/United Artists reported that 25% of it audience returned to theaters for the first time since the pandemic, but it seems like the larger pool of Bond fans may have been hesitant. If that is the case, then one can expect stronger holds as the older crowd delays their visit to the theater. 

The good word-of-mouth is certainly there – as well as a possible bump from people having the day off due to today’s holiday – Indigenous People’s day.

It should be noted that for MGM, the play with No Time To Die was always about the international box-office. Coming off an $90M sophomore weekend overseas (down just 26% from the international debut of $121.3M), No Time To Die has already accumulated $257.3M outside of the U.S. In contrast to stateside, the $35.1M UK debut was the UK’s sixth biggest opening weekend ever and the biggest three-day weekend for the Bond franchise in that market.

Before we stop talking about overseas, Disney hit a milestone last Monday, becoming the first studio to cross $2B in global box-office during 2021. 

Anyway – Yes, this year’s October is more competitive than usual. Two blockbuster tentpoles like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die don’t typically release back-to-back, but No Time to Die couldn’t delay further due to deals made with its branding partners. Venom 2 dropped 64 percent for its sophomore weekend – less than Black Widow and F9, and more than Shang-Chi. Regardless, the two films helped propel the overall weekend box-office to an excellent $105.5M

October’s running total now stands at $268M. In other words, in just 10 days, October’s box-office represents nearly half of July’s $582M (the highest monthly total thus far). Even with No Time To Die coming in on the low-end of expectations, October is lined up to be a huge.

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