Bond 25 questions: Does anything matter outside the U.K.?

No Time to Die poster

Eon Productions last week said No Time to Die will come out on Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 in the U.S. Do James Bond movies, as the series 60th anniversary approaches, matter much beyond the U.K.?

Vulture, the arts website of New York magazine, seems to have come to that conclusion. Naturally, the blog has questions.

Can this remotely be true?

Vulture didn’t pull any punches in an Aug. 24 report.

According to a person with knowledge of business practices at Eon, everyone’s expectations there have been adjusted downward.

“They’ve lost so much money by moving [No Time to Die]; the marketing has gotten stale,” the person says. “The Broccolis care more about the U.K. than anything — making it a big hit in the U.K., a decent hit in the U.S. and the rest of the world.” (emphasis added)

There are certainly old-time Bond fans — that live in the U.K. and boast of having seen Goldfinger first-run in the theater while also saying the U.S. and other markets don’t matter — who feel that way. But they don’t actually manage the franchise. (They just think they do.)

In this day and age, a global film franchise needs, well, global support.

So what may be happening?

Here’s how Vulture views it:

When it comes to Bond, Eon is crossing its fingers that the audience comfort level shoots up above 81 percent again and is “hoping for the $700, $800 [million] range,” the source close to the company says. “There’s no way they’re going to get there. But there may be some cover: ‘We probably weren’t going to do a huge number. We can blame COVID, do some business in the U.S., and move on.’”

Well, let’s keep this in mind:

NTTD footage shown at CinemaCon

One of the many No Time to Die posters

Some No Time to Die Footage was shown at CinemaCon, a gathering for theater owners.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hasn’t been at CinemaCon for 20 years, according to Deadline: Hollywood.. Another entertainment site, The Wrap, had a more detailed description of the No Time to Die footage shown. (Avoid if you don’t like spoilers.). Most of this describes footage seen in previous trailers.

In the footage, Daniel Craig’s Bond wakes up on top of a building, disoriented, and the sound is muffled. Calling someone on the phone seems fruitless, so Bond begins to run through the city only to be on the receiving end of gunfire from Spectre agents. He ropes himself off the side of a bridge to escape, but he soon runs into the people chasing him. A fight ensues in typical Bond fashion.

Next, we see Bond with Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, and Bond asks her how Spectre knew he was in the city. He thinks she betrayed her, and there’s nothing she can say to persuade him otherwise. The two get into a beautiful vintage Aston Martin that Bond fans will recognize as the DB5 from “Goldfinger,” with all of Q’s weapons included. However, it unfortunately gets completely destroyed by gunfire in the middle of a town square by the Spectre agents..

Eon Productions, which makes the Bond films, last week confirmed No Time to Die’s world premiere will be Sept. 28. The 25th James Bond film is scheduled to debut Sept. 30 in the U.K. and other countries and Oct 8 in the U.S.