James Bond film 'No Time to Die' sets pandemic box office record

The figures vindicate the decision to delay its release

'No Time to Die' poster at a cinema in New Delhi, India. AFP
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The Covid-delayed No Time To Die has delivered a post-pandemic assault on box office records with $100 million-plus in receipts.

With $119 million from 54 markets, according to box office reports the new James Bond film is the first $100m opening for a US film without the inclusion of Chinese market sales since the outbreak of Covid-19.

That was on the back of a record setting $34.8m for the opening weekend in the UK and Ireland for the British spy hero.

For the UK and Ireland, it is the highest-grossing film of 2021 so far and since the pandemic began, after being in cinemas for only four days.

Screenings in Universal markets accounted for $92.4m of the take and $26.7m for MGM. Another for $6.8m was from IMAX screenings. No Time To Die, playing in 772 cinemas, dominated the UK and Ireland box office with 94 per cent of the total takings.

The successful opening weekend vindicates the producers’ decision to repeatedly delay its release until box office conditions were more favourable than at the height of the Covid lockdowns that forced cinemas across the globe to close.

The cinema is still not back to normal but the Bond figures offer some good news.

Internationally, Bond films have less pull than other global franchises such as Star Wars but its performance is still a key indicator for industry experts.

The film cost about $250 million to produce.

Last Tuesday, London rolled out the red carpet for the film’s premiere, attended by Oscar winners and British royalty. It was the city’s biggest red carpet event since the start of the pandemic.

See photos from the premiere:

Updated: October 04, 2021, 1:55 PM