Final Bond film set for biggest global box office debut of the pandemic era

Home*Cover Story*Entertainment

Final Bond film set for biggest global box office debut of the pandemic era

Daniel Craig’s swan song as James Bond is set for a record-breaking overseas opening.

After a long series of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “No Time to Die” exploded at the international box office on Friday, grossing $27.2 million across 54 markets to reach a running total of $51.4 million. Industry projections predict a weekend total of $112.9 million, which would give the latest 007 entry the biggest global box office debut of the pandemic era without China (the film opens in China on Oct. 29).

While MGM and EON Productions partnered for the 25th James Bond film, Universal Pictures International is handling distribution in many overseas markets.

Fittingly, the biggest draw for “No Time to Die” came from the U.K. and Ireland, where the film reached a $14.2 million total after adding $7.6 million on Friday. The debut marks the third-highest Friday gross in October, as well as the third-highest Friday gross in the James Bond franchise. The film is also the widest release in U.K. box office history, playing in 772 theaters across 3,600 screens.

“No Time to Die” is estimated to gross $30 million in the territory over the weekend, which would top “Skyfall’s” three-day opening in 2012 and handily make it the biggest film of the pandemic in only 4 days of release.

The 007 entry also drew impressive Friday numbers in other territories, including Germany ($6.4 million), Japan ($1.6 million), South Korea ($1.8 million), the Netherlands ($1.6 million) and Hong Kong ($1.5 million).

“No Time to Die” is directed by “True Detective” and “Maniac” helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga and is written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Scott Z. Burns, Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Alongside Craig, the film’s returning cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux, Rory Kinnear, Ben Whishaw and Jeffrey Wright. Series newcomers Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek also star.

The stellar international opening bodes well for “No Time to Die” as the film prepares for its domestic release on Oct. 8. Several other major markets are still on the horizon, including France (Oct. 6), Russia (Oct. 7), China (Oct. 29) and Australia (Nov. 11).

The latest James Bond entry has been received well by critics. In his review of “No Time to Die,” Variety’s Chief Film Critic Owen Gleiberman praised the film, saying it closes out “Craig’s 007 in the most honestly extravagant of style.”