No Time to Die: An eventful week

No Time to Die poster

This week had to be one of the most eventful weeks related to No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond film.

The premiere of a 45-minute documentary. The return of an official No Time to Die podcast series. The leader of Eon Productions making an over-the-top boast. The first tickets going on sale.

After five delays (two because of a change of director, three because of COVID-19), the die seems to be cast. Daniel Craig’s finale as James Bond, wrapping up more than 15 years as the incumbent cinematic Bond, is on the horizon.

Here are some highlights:

–Being James Bond, the documentary about Craig’s tenure as Bond, debuted on Apple TV. Many fans got emotional, going to social media to express how they felt.

I read a lot of these testimonials. They were honest and sincere. And it’s not hard to figure out why. Craig was first cast in 2005. For people younger than 35, Daniel Craig is the Bond they know best. Even if you’re not a fan of Craig/Bond, you have to respect something like that.

–The official No Time to Die podcast returned after a hiatus of almost a year. The podcast began in September 2020 but abruptly shut down after another COVID-related delayed.

The first episode was an expanded version of one that first went out a year ago. The revised episode began with a discussion with Eon boss Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G. Wilson.

Broccoli didn’t undersell the (not so) new Bond film. No Time to Die, she said, “is a cinematic masterpiece.”

The movie world is full of hype. But “cinematic masterpiece” are loaded words. Broccoli is doubling, tripling (or more) down. She clearly has an attachment to Daniel Craig that goes beyond the normal movie hype.

–Today, Friday, Sept. 10, was a rush for those in the U.K. who sought tickets for the Sept. 28 premiere at Royal Albert Hall. Social media saw testimonials from those who attempted and the few who got tickets.

It wasn’t perfect. For example, the coordination between No Time to Die social media didn’t mesh with a new U.S. NTTD spot that debuted late on Sept. 9.

Still, it was a big week for Bond fans.

No Time to Die to get China release, Variety says

No Time to Die will be released in China, Variety reported, citing official local media.

Getting a release in the world’s most populous nation will provide an opportunity to boost the movie’s global box office. Studios only keep 25 percent of the box office take in China. But the country is such a huge market, it’s considered a plus.

No specific date has been determined for the movie’s release in China, Variety said.

The 25th James Bond film is the most expensive in the series produced by Eon Productions. No Time to Die’s production costs approached $290 million as of mid-2020, according to a U.K. regulatory filing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the movie to be delayed three times. It’s now set to come out in the U.K. and other countries late this month and on Oct. 8 in the United States.

The pandemic has held down movie attendance generally.

The highest global box office so far this year was generated by F9: The Fast Saga, with almost $711 million. In pre-pandemic 2019, the No. 1 global box office was Avengers: Endgame at almost $2.8 billion.

No Time to Die will be released in theaters exclusively. Recent marketing efforts, including a new U.S. ad that debuted Sept. 9, have emphasized that aspect heavily.