MGM’s “No Time to Die” is keeping the box office in high gear, grossing $23.3 million from 4,407 screens on opening day as it heads towards an estimated $60 million opening.
Combined with the second weekend of Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which is estimated at $31 million, overall grosses for the domestic box office is set to stay above $100 million for the second straight weekend, a welcome result for theaters looking for business to consistently reach pre-pandemic levels. Current industry estimates project a $115 million overall weekend, just 11% down from last weekend’s annual high of $129 million.
After the surprising, pandemic-best launch of “Venom 2” and Bond record $35 million launch for “No Time to Die” in the UK last weekend, analysts and theater owners who spoke to TheWrap this past week had been hoping for “No Time to Die” to similarly overperform in the US and top the $70 million opening of Bond predecessor “Spectre” or possibly even the franchise opening record holder “Skyfall” at $88 million.
There’s still a possibility that numbers could push upward if matinee screenings bring more turnout than expected, particularly from older audiences that historically have been a core demographic for Bond films but have not appeared reliably for any film so far this year due to COVID-19 concerns. But even if they don’t, a $60 million opening would be a solid result consistent with pre-weekend projections from both MGM and independent trackers.
The great news for “No Time to Die” is that reception is strong across the board with an 84% critics score and 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes to go with an A- on CinemaScore. Bond films historically have legged out well at the box office with “Skyfall” reaching $300 million domestic from its $88 million opening, and word-of-mouth could help this Bond film perform well against even as films like “Halloween Kills” and “Dune” are set to arrive in the second half of October.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is in second, taking a 66% drop from its pandemic-best $90 million opening. That drop is being exacerbated by premium format support shifting over to “No Time to Die” after providing extra revenue for the Sony/Marvel film last weekend, but “Venom 2” is still tied with “Shang-Chi” and the Legend of the Ten Rings as the fastest pandemic-era release to reach $100 million, having done so on Tuesday as it now is estimated for a 10-day total of $142 million.
MGM/United Artists’ “The Addams Family 2” is in third, grossing $2.7 million on its second Friday for an estimated weekend total of $10.7 million and a $31.8 million 10-day opening. Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” is in fourth with $4.3 million in its sixth weekend and a $212 million domestic total, while Warner Bros.’ “The Many Saints of Newark” is just holding off the ninth weekend of “Free Guy” with $1.3 million in its second weekend and a $7.2 million total.