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No Time To Die Tops The Box Office As Audiences Say Goodbye To Daniel Craig's James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond aiming a gun in No Time To Die
(Image credit: MGM)

The end of another era in the storied James Bond franchise has come to an end. It was 15 years ago that Daniel Craig first played 007 in Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, and while the quality of the films has been very up-and-down since then, what hasn’t changed is the series’ reputation as a big box office earner. Now, with the release of Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die, things have ended the way they began, as the film is also succeeding in selling a hell of a lot of tickets and has debuted at the top of the charts in its opening weekend.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

No Time To Die Weekend Box Office October 8-10, 2021

(Image credit: MGM)

TITLEWEEKEND GROSSDOMESTIC GROSSLWTHTRS
1. No Time To Die*$56,007,372 $56,007,372 4,407
2. Venom: Let There Be Carnage$32,000,000 $141,665,616 14,225
3. The Addams Family 2$10,019,040 $31,140,891 24,207
4. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings$4,200,000 $212,456,765 32,800
5. The Many Saints of Newark$1,450,000 $7,407,052 43,181
6. Free Guy$1,300,000 $119,681,287 61,495
7. Lamb*$1,000,079 $1,000,079 583
8. Dear Evan Hansen$1,000,000 $13,706,130 51,927
9. Candyman$700,000 $60,073,075 71,153
10. Jungle Cruise$214,000 $116,546,419 8445

As many will remember, No Time To Die was the first massive blockbuster that was pushed as a result of the pandemic, as it was originally scheduled to come out in March 2020, but evidently you can’t keep the excitement of a James Bond fan down. It didn’t quite set new records for the pandemic era (Andy Serkis’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage set a pretty high bar just last week), but the movie’s performance in its first three days can be called a solid start, as it managed to make just over $56 million while playing in over 4,000 locations.

One always has to keep the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in mind when looking at box office returns these days, but that figure means that No Time To Die will go down in the books as having the fourth biggest debut weekend during the Daniel Craig era (ahead of only Casino Royale, which made $40.8 million in its first Friday-to-Sunday in November 2006). The record for biggest Bond opener ever is still Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, which made $88.7 million on its way to making $304.4 million in 2012 (which also makes it the franchise’s biggest domestic hit).

While No Time To Die isn’t off to the strongest possible start in North America, one very important element that absolutely can’t be ignored in the conversation surrounding the movie is the foreign box office. The film got a one week head start overseas, and while it won’t open in China until the end of this month, it has already earned $257.3 million from the markets where it has launched. Combined with the haul from this weekend domestically, according to The Numbers, the action feature has made $313.3 million worldwide.

That’s pretty important, as No Time To Die is going to need every dollar it can get to ultimately be seen as a profitable venture from its theatrical release. As I noted last week, Variety says that the production had a net budget over $300 million, and there are also back-end and profit participation deals and distribution costs that take away percentages from box office grosses. Whether or not the film will be able to reach its magic number is not immediately clear at present, especially when taking into consideration all of the big titles that are set to come out in the coming weeks.

No Time To Die Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux in interrogation cell

(Image credit: MGM)

Going into this weekend, one big question surrounding No Time To Die’s potential earnings involved the competition that would be put up by Venom: Let There Be Carnage – the Marvel movie making $90.1 million in its debut at the start of October. As it turns out, though, James Bond didn’t have much trouble at all quelling Tom Hardy’s alien symbiote, and it’s because the comic book movie sequel pulled a move similar to what we saw Justin Lin’s F9, Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad do during the summer.

Like those three films, Venom: Let There Be Carnage was the victim of an extreme dip in its weekend-to-weekend box office earnings. Its record setting performance may have been surprising and impressive, but the same can’t be said of its 64 percent drop. Surely No Time To Die stole a considerable fraction of its audience, but making just $32 million in its sophomore Friday-to-Sunday made it an easy target to steal the box office crown. To date it has made $141 million domestically (its presently holding fifth place for 2021) and worldwide it has made $185.6 million (good enough for sixteenth place 10 months into the year).

With No Time To Die expected to be a box office juggernaut, all of the other major studios held off on putting out any significant competition in theaters on Friday – but this weekend did see A24 drop Valdimar Jóhannsson's Lamb in limited release, and it did well enough to earn seventh place. It only made a little over $1 million, but that was enough to outpace Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen, which is in its third week and playing in more than three times as many theaters.

Lastly, based on the numbers it looks as though this may be the last weekend that Jaume Collet-Serra’s Jungle Cruise spends on the Top 10, and it certainly deserves recognition for the incredibly strong legs that it has demonstrated. The film first came out all the way back in July, faced serious competition, and has been simultaneously available via Premier Access on Disney+, and yet it has still maintained a place on the chart for 11 straight weeks. Compared to Destin Daniel-Cretton’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings or Venom: Let There Be Carnage, its $116.5 million earnings domestically may not seem all that impressive, but the run it has accomplished is unlike anything any other 2021 release has done.

Coming up next weekend, audiences will have the opportunity to properly celebrate the spooky season, as David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills will be hitting theaters (while also being available to stream on Peacock); and on the prestige side of things we will also be seeing the release of Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel. Where will they end up in the Top 10 when the box office smoke clears and the early numbers are reported? Be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday for my latest column to find out.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.