Return of Daniel Craig’s James Bond to screens, and all that pent up anticipation has resulted in some impressive box office results in the countries around the globe where the film has debuted. At the worldwide box office so far, No Time To Die has earned $119 million.
The film was, predictably, particularly popular here in the UK, where it opened as the widest release to date and earned $25.6 million (£18.8 million) across the weekend. It will continue to roll out to other markets, including China (at the end of the month), France (6 Oct) and the States (8 Oct).
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, meanwhile, is also doing well in the world so far, crossing the $100 million mark after opening in the middle of last month in several countries. We’ll have to wait to see how it performs here and in the US, as it isn’t scheduled to arrive until 21 October (UK) and 22 October (America).
Yet American audiences have turned out for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, as the symbiote sequel set a new Stateside record for pandemic box office, blowing past record-holder Black Widow with $90.1 million. That’s a big result – bigger than the original’s launch. And with plenty of other countries left, it stands to make some real money. The movie will be in the UK on 15 October.
We find Bond in retirement mode. For the film’s first half, he’s turned his back on MI6, and there are plenty of references to how he’s past his prime, an “old wreck” as he calls himself. Craig can still wear the hell out of a tux, but he has a few more years on his face than he did in 2006’s Casino Royale, and plays into them. His performance — which has always been rich with contradictions, the playboyish smile contrasted with a stoic inner turmoil — is the most interesting it has ever been in this film. This Bond is more passionate, more impulsive, more sensitive and — dare we say — more romantic, breathing remarkable new dimensions into a decades-old character.
He’s no less ruthless, though, and while Craig’s earlier films showed influence from the grittiness of Bourne, Fukunaga’s action seems to partly ape John Wick, with an emphasis on sharp, savage gunfights and intense chase sequences. The supporting cast offer great assists — Ana De Armas in a tiny but winning repeat of the Knives Out chemistry she shared with Craig; Lashanna Lynch as a rival 007 agent with her own brand of swagger — but there’s a groundedness and muscularity to it, with flashes of a paranoid conspiracy thrille.