Bond 25 questions: The box office edition (updated)

No Time to Die poster.

No Time to Die passed two box office milestones, $700 million worldwide and $150 million in the United States.

How important is this? Naturally, the blog has questions.

This is good news, right? It means that No Time to Die is the No. 6 box office movie in the U.S. so far this year and No. 2 globally among movies financed by major U.S. studios. The Bond movie may be about to catch F9: The Fast Saga at $721 million.

So? That means, even in a post-COVID 19 pandemic era, that James Bond still is very popular.

Is there a caveat? Yes. No Time to Die still hasn’t reached profitability during its theatrical release.

During a film’s theatrical run, studios split the take with theaters. No Time to Die’s production cost approached $300 million. It had additional marketing costs on top of that. The most notable was a February 2020 Super Bowl TV ad estimated at $5.69 million that was flushed down the drain by COVID delays. There were tens of millions of more dollars spent after that.

But aren’t there more revenue streams? Sure. There are video on demand rentals (which began in the U.S. on Nov. 9) and the early home video releases.

Still, studios prefer a movie get into profit territory during its theatrical release.

With COVID-19, studios are in new territory. Before the pandemic, studios were able to generate box office of $1 billion or more per movie in theaters. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame scored almost $2.8 billion in theaters worldwide.

In 2021, no movie has reached $1 billion. It’s a new world for studios for a lot of reasons.

No Time to Die was made during one era. It was released during another. Clearly, Bond’s popularity remains high. But the future may require changes. As usual, we’ll see.

One Response

  1. My guess, characters, premise and execution never changes. Quality is quality. But how less revenue makes that happen, is the trick. Reducing special effects and glamor? More character chemistry, a meaningful plot. Keeping the franchise compelling beyond just the initials, but for a reason. Are home viewers less discriminating. Or does it matter to any true fan? Hopefully someone is listening because their patience has certainly earned them that respect.

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