Screenings across Dubai are sold out this weekend as the new James Bond film arrives in theatres.
Extra showings have been put on around the clock to meet demand from fans eager to see Daniel Craig’s swansong as the legendary secret agent in No Time To Die.
At least 150,000 people are expected to be sitting in cinemas around the UAE this weekend to watch 007's latest adventure, said Toni El Massih, chief content officer at Vox Cinemas.
The film was released at midnight on Thursday, September 30, and the response from audiences has been rapturous so far, according to cinema management.=
"This is the movie that everyone has been waiting for as it was delayed because of the pandemic,” Mr El Massih said.
“It opened at midnight and the audiences have been raving about it ever since, with many saying it’s the best Bond film to date.
“We are witnessing sold-out sessions across the group, despite having to put on extra screenings to cope with the demand.”
The chain has now opened several branches until 3am to accommodate the demand from audiences to catch Daniel Craig’s final appearance as Bond on the big screen.
“This is the latest we have been open since the pandemic began,” he said.
“The film has pulled a massive audience, unlike any other since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.
“The response from the public to this film has been exceptional. The reviews have been really positive, which has helped, but I think it’s down to a real desire to return to the cinema.”
The plot of No Time To Die certainly seems prescient in a world getting to grips with the effects of Covid-19, as 007 goes up against Rami Malek’s villain who plans to release a deadly virus infecting millions of people around the globe.
The film was originally meant to be released in early 2020 but was delayed several times because of Covid-19 restrictions.
“Everybody wants to be the first to see it,” said Victoria Lynn, general manager of attractions for Dubai Holdings, the parent group of Roxy Cinemas, who have five branches in the emirate.
“We are 100 per cent sold out of screenings of No Time To Die this weekend, despite putting extra screenings on because of the demand.
“We are expecting to have thousands of people in our cinemas just to watch the latest Bond film.”
She said part of the movie’s appeal to audiences was due to the fact they could not watch it anywhere else.
Many of the blockbuster films released since the beginning of the pandemic were also simultaneously available to watch on demand at home, owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
“That was not the case with No Time to Die, which is one of the reasons why people are so determined to come back to cinemas to watch it,” she said.
“We haven’t seen anything like this since before the days of Covid-19.
“If you haven’t already booked you won’t be able to see it this weekend.”