Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in “No Time To Die.”
“No Time to Die” tallied an estimated $56 million during its domestic opening weekend, the fourth-best debut of any James Bond film in the franchise’s nearly 60-year history.
The film hauled in $23.3 million on Friday, $18.1 million on Saturday and is expected to generate around $14.5 million in ticket sales Sunday. Globally, the film has garnered $313.3 million since its international release two weeks ago.
While some box office analysts projected the film could reach $80 million, or even top $100 million, during its debut in the U.S. and Canada, the latest James Bond film’s opening numbers are still a solid showing for the pandemic era.
“This is not a one-weekend movie and I think the passion for Bond was played out in the high expectations,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “High expectations were a reflection of the excitement everyone had for this movie and a reflection of the pent-up need to finally see the film after an extra 18 months of wait time.”
Heading into its opening weekend, “No Time to Die” was overperforming advanced ticket sales expectations. Fandango reported last week that the film was outpacing presales for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” The “Venom” sequel currently holds the pandemic record for the highest opening weekend haul.
The performance of “No Time to Die” underscores the ongoing challenges facing the domestic box office. Namely, luring consumers out to theaters.
“Though the long-running time may have played a part, the opening weekend performance of ‘No Time to Die’ may be more reflective of the fact that mature moviegoers have a tendency to not rush out opening weekend to see a movie,” Dergarabedian said.
The James Bond franchise is nearly six decades old and the audience who comes out for these films tends to be older. Nearly 60% of moviegoers who turned up to see the film this weekend were over 35 years old and 36% of ticket buyers were over 45.
Older audiences have been slower to return to cinemas in the wake of the pandemic, leading to smaller box office hauls for films that cater to older generations. Around 25% of ticket buyers who went out to see “No Time to Die” this weekend noted that this was their first time returning to theaters in more than 18 months, MGM reported.
“Bond’s debut still speaks to the enduring appeal of the franchise and the great interest in Daniel Craig’s swan song … while simultaneously giving the industry further insight into what to expect from certain demographics for the remainder of the year,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal is releasing “No Time To Die” internationally while MGM handles the domestic release. Amazon announced plans to buy MGM earlier this year. NBCUniversal owns Fandango.