Bond 25 questions: Final box office edition

No Time to Die poster released Sept. 1.

No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond film, has more or less reached the end of its theatrical release. Naturally, the blog has questions.

What are the final numbers? It’s not final, but it appears No Time to Die will come in globally at No. 2 among non-Chinese movies ($774 million) while No. 007 in the U.S. ($160.8 million), behind Spider-Man No Way Home, Shang-Chi, and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Black Widow, F9: The Fast Saga, and Eternals.

Behind the Eternals? Really? Eternals was commonly viewed as a weak entry (box office wise) since Marvel began making its own movies with 2008’s Iron Man. But, yes, Eternals came a bit ahead, in the U.S., of No Time to Die.

How do you explain the difference for No Time to Die globally vs. the U.S.?

Beats me.

Eon Productions, for years (at least since 2015), says it controls the marketing of Bond films and studios merely execute those plans.

Since at least 1997, Eon talking points include how women characters in Bond newer films are much stronger than characters in classic Bond films. (Honey Rider, Tatiana Romonva, Pussy Galore, Domino, et. al.)

By now, it’s routine for Bond actresses to proclaim their characters are much stronger than earlier Bond women characters.

In 2012, Eon Productions boss Barbara Broccoli told The Evening Standard, ““Fortunately, the days of Bond girls standing around with a clipboard are over.”

More recently, No Time to Die director Cary Funkunaga said the Sean Connery version of Bond was “basically” a rapist.

Also, Daniel Craig, in the midst of a 15-year as Bond, said the character was a misogynist. (Definition: “a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.”) When your star calls the character he’s playing that way, it’s hard to argue the point.

That’s especially true when Barbara Broccoli considers Craig the best Bond ever.

Is it time to revamp U.S. Bond film marketing in the U.S.?

Perhaps. Until now, nobody has ever called Eon on its U.S. marketing strategy.

Does anything change in the future?

We’ll see once Amazon completes its acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio. Maybe there will be changes. Maybe not.

4 Responses

  1. The best thing for the franchise at this stage would be for Amazon to force out Barbara and Michael. They’ve both lost touch with what made this movie franchise great. Although I don’t think they ever had touch. They both rode Cubby’s coattails and then went off in their own bizarro direction – Barbara dragging Michael along by the looks of it. End result
    – a killed Bond, a fanbase in revolt, and 7th place behind lame fare such as The Eternals.
    Honey Ryder and Pussy Galore btw, are two of the strongest Bond Girls ever, while fellow Fleming creations Tatiana and Domino were both brave and resilient. Madeleine Swan meanwhile…blah, boring, uninspiring. Give her a clipboard.
    The Bond film franchise is dead and done until it gets fresh, energized leadership rooted in both Fleming and the original Eon vision.

  2. I recently picked up a copy of “Forever and a Death,” Donald Westlake’s more or less novelization of his abandoned story idea for the follow-up to “GoldenEye.” The book contains an afterword by Jeff Kleeman, an executive at MGM/UA in the ’90s who was heavily involved in Bond. He writes about the studio’s worries that “GoldenEye” would bomb and end the Bond series. Pointedly, the big questions were whether 15-year-old boys would still care about Bond after his six-year absence from the screen (also factoring in the 12 years since the last Bond to hit blockbuster status, “Octopussy”). No one was asking if 15-year-old boys would still care about Bond in the six-year gap from “SPECTRE” to “No Time to Die” because Eon stopped marketing to that audience with the advent of the Daniel Craig films, ignoring that reality that Bond has lasted as long as he has because he has been passed along from one generation of teenage boys to the next.

    Maybe Eon figured the teenage boys would still show up. Maybe they hadn’t counted on the Marvel explosion or on the “Mission: Impossible” films happily picking up the gee-whiz stuff that Eon dropped, the gadgets and spectacular stunt sequences that previously distinguished Bond from his imitators. For whatever reason, Eon lost a generation of teenagers while at the same time slavishly courting Bond’s baby boomer fan base. How else can you explain Daniel Craig driving an Aston Martin DB5 more often than Sean Connery? Now that the Craig era is over, I wonder if Eon will be able to regain a teenage audience. I also wonder if they will even bother.

  3. It failed because it was a piece of garbage. The marketing made sure we understood that it was a piece of garbage. Everyone (except me) wants to praise Ana Armas; everyone forgets that if any woman makes more of an impression in the action scenes than Bond, it’s A BAD BOND MOVIE.

  4. Thanks for the responses, guys.

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