In "No Time to Die", James Bond had another mission, to get recalcitrant butts out of pandemic isolation and back into theaters seats.
To that end, Bond succeeded, smashing records in 45 countries, raking in an estimated $119.1 million in just three days and all without the help of the two biggest movie markets: the United States and China.
All in all, the film opened in 54 markets and broke franchise records in 24 of them. In 21 other countries, the movie had the best opening weekend of the pandemic era. Undoubtedly, the film's blaring success at overseas box offices bodes well for its U.S. release this Friday.
"No Time to Die" marks Daniel Craig's final outing as the titular secret agent and was directed by "True Detective" showrunner Cary Joji Fukunaga. Writing credits went to Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Scott Z. Burns. Ralph Fiennes plays a supporting role as M, while Rami Malik joins the franchise as the film's main villain.
The film currently holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 178 reviews, with critical consensus reading: "It isn't the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but 'No Time to Die' concludes Daniel Craig's franchise tenure in satisfying style."
Nevertheless, the release of "No Time to Die"was seen as crucial in gauging audiences' willingness to return to theaters. Earlier estimates by Deadline about the film's debut stood at $90 million, partly because Bond's biggest fans tend to skew a bit older. Although in hindsight, such concerns were clearly unfounded.
As a uniquely British cultural export, the film's performance in the U.K. was particularly smashing. No Time to Die marked the widest ever theatrical release in the country's history, playing on 3,600 screens and pulling in nearly $35 million to become the biggest film of the year over just a single weekend.
In Germany, the film played on 1,300 screens and earned $14.7 million, marking the country's largest release of the pandemic era. "No Time to Die", also had the biggest opening weekend of a Bond title in Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, and more.
Meanwhile, the film smashed franchise records earning in Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, .
In 2019, writer and director Danny Boyle exited the project, causing a delay that pushed the film's release back until April 2020- precisely when the pandemic was heating up. Since then, the film has had no fewer than three release dates: November 2020, April 2021, and finally October.
"The pent-up demand built over a six-year wait since 'Spectre,' plus the significance of the end of the Craig era as Bond, has made this required viewing for even for the most casual 007 fan," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. "For the hard-core aficionados, 'No Time to Die' represents a major milestone and a true not to be missed cinematic event."
The film is slated for U.S. release on Friday and will release on Chinese screens on October 29.