How ‘No Time to Die’ Can Still Be a Big Win for Movie Theaters – If Not for MGM

Daniel Craig’s final Bond film won’t be a megahit, but it can still be a major stepping stone to rebuild box office

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After over a year of delays, MGM’s top execs took the stage at CinemaCon last month and delivered good news to theater owners: “No Time to Die” is full steam ahead for release in theaters on October 8. And while the film won’t be the enormous hit that MGM and overseas distribution partner Universal hoped for, the 25th James Bond film can still be a major stepping stone for rebuilding a box office crippled by the COVID pandemic.

Analysts and rival distributors say that even though grosses will be down from past 007 titles, “No Time to Die” could still be just as or even more successful than recent Hollywood tentpoles like Universal’s “F9” or Disney/Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” in the U.S. and Europe, where Bond films particularly perform well. One distribution executive noted that Bond’s decades-long history makes it a blockbuster franchise that draws out more older moviegoers than “Fast & Furious” or Marvel films, and could help increase confidence and interest in moviegoing among a 35-plus demographic that did not turn out this summer nearly as much as their younger counterparts.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster