After years of delays, we’ve been expecting Mr Bond’s return for a long time – and it appears the wait has been worth it.
It’s a strong box office start for the latest 007 film, which hit cinemas on Thursday, giving a much-needed boost for an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Directed by American filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga and also starring Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch, No Time To Die is projected to make $90m (about £66.7m) over its opening weekend, and will be available in countries including Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain.
Its UK box office opening was roughly 13% above that of 2015’s Spectre but 26% below 2012’s Skyfall, EON Productions, MGM, Universal Pictures International and United Artists Releasing said.
Speaking to Sky News ahead of the release of his final turn as the secret agent, Craig said it was a “joyous thing” to see the film finally coming to cinemas.
“It would have been sad [to see it on a streaming service], and we got here and we’re going to actually get into the cinemas,” he said.
The latest 007 film will have the widest theatrical release of all-time in the UK, showing in 772 cinemas – 25 more than previous record-holder Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, the producers said.
And more than 30,000 eager fans attended midnight screenings to see it as soon as possible, and the film sold 1,620,000 advance tickets for the opening four days.
This surpassed Spectre’s total advance bookings by more than 12%, but was in line with Skyfall, producers said.
It comes after delays caused not only by the pandemic, but by the departure of original director Danny Boyle, too, plus Craig getting injured on set.
No Time To Die is out in cinemas in the UK and Ireland now and will be released in North America, the world’s second-biggest film market behind China, on 8 October.