MGM takes a No Time to Die victory lap

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executives took a victory lap concerning No Time to Die during an investor call.

“It’s been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait and a real thrill for all of us at MGM to deliver on our goal to release Bond in theaters around the world,” Christopher Brearton, the studio’s chief operating officer, said in prepared remarks.

“There have been many great stories about the excitement amongst Bond fans that returned to theaters for Daniel Craig’s last turn as 007 — all underscoring that a Bond film is one of the biggest events in the theatrical marketplace,” he added. “To that point, the film is performing well despite ongoing pandemic challenges. The film has now surpassed $700 million in worldwide box office and it is still going strong.”

No Time to Die’s global total stood at $709.6 million as of Thursday night, according to Box Office Mojo. It is on the verge of catching F9: The Fast Saga’s $721.1 million. F9 is No. 1 globally in 2021 among movies released by major U.S. studios.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the movie-going market. Billion-dollar box office films had become regular events before COVID-19. Box Office Mojo lists 48 such movies. That includes 2012’s Skyfall at No. 28.

The pandemic caused three separate delays in No Time to Die reaching theaters. It finally came out in late September in the U.K. and early October in the U.S.

“Releasing Bond when theaters were opened was the right decision for the film and for MGM,” Brearton said.

In addition to its theatrical release, No Time to Die moved into premium video on demand on Nov. 9 in the U.S.

MGM executives did not take questions from investors. The company has agreed to be acquired by Amazon. That deal is still undergoing regulatory review.

NTTD to be 2021’s box office champ, Puck says

No Time to Die poster

No Time to Die will end up 2021’s box office champion ” with a big asterisk” among major studio films, the digital Puck news service said in an analysis.

No Time to Die is now projected to cross F9’s $721.1 million global number sometime around Thanksgiving, according to both MGM, its domestic distributor, and Universal, which handled most overseas territories,” wrote Puck’s Matthew Belloni, a former editor of The Hollywood Reporter and a one-time entertainment lawyer.

“With neither Eternals nor Venom: There Will Be Carnage getting a China release, and nothing major coming before year’s end (except Spider-man: No Way Home, which drops Dec. 17 and will earn mostly in 2022), it’s safe to say the Bond film played a long game and came out on top.”

The asterisk cited by Belloni is how the COVID-19 pandemic shrunk the movie-going audience in 2021. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame generated almost $2.8 billion at the global box office. That is “between three and four times the likely Bond number,” Belloni wrote.

The No Time to Die global box office, he added, is “still notable, given the geezer-skewing audience for the franchise. Studio research showed that 25 percent of the over-35 audience said this was their first movie back in theaters, I’m told.”

No Time to Die debuted in the U.K. in late September and in the U.S. in early October. Australia saw the film released on Nov. 11.

The Box Office Mojo website listed the Bond movie’s global box office at $709.2 million as of Thursday morning.

Two films released in Asia, The Battle at Lake Changjin and Hi, Mom, each have box office totals above $800 million.