The Latest James Bond Film is Not as Popular As It Was in Predecessors as Covid-19 Concerns Remain

James Bond finally met a foe at the box office, and it was a draw.

After being delayed by Covid-19 for over a year, the 25th installment of Bond’s Bond series, “No Time to Die,” was released to $56 million in Canada and the U.S. Even though most auditoriums have been reopened around the globe, the lingering effects from the pandemic appear to have affected the movie’s performance. It is a little behind the previous installments in the series.

For instance, the 2015 opening of “Spectre” was worth $70 million. The 2012 debut of “Skyfall”, however, was worth $88 million. The slowest start of the five Bond films starring Daniel Craig is “No Time to Die”.

Covid-19 may be partially responsible. Bond movies have attracted older audiences in recent years than blockbusters produced or based on sequel-generating characters by Marvel Studios. This older audience has been the hardest to attract to the theaters. It is why “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, and “Venom: There Be Carnage,” have exceeded expectations and attracted large crowds.

“No Time to Die,” has been used as yet another indicator of the country’s theatrical industry after a year of delays and shutdowns. “No Time to Die,” which was released in March 2020 after Covid-19’s global sweep, was one of the first movies to be delayed. Its many subsequent schedule changes indicated that the pandemic would last longer than people initially thought. Its performance now shows the growing pains that lie ahead, as big-budget movies that depend on all types of moviegoers see only certain demographics returning in pre-pandemic numbers to cinemas.

United Artists Releasing distributes Bond movies for MGM Holdings Inc.. A survey of six cities’ opening-weekend audiences revealed that nearly one quarter of those who saw “No Time to Die,” this weekend, had not seen a Bond movie in 18 months.

Erik Lomis (president of distribution at United Artists Releasing) stated that “you have to get them used t coming back.” He said that the 18-to-34-year-olds are now driving the box office, and 57% were older than 35 for Bond’s weekend.

Contrarily, “Venom : Let There Be Carnage”, which attracts younger moviegoers, earned $32 million in its second-week, taking its total to $142 million. It was released by Sony Group Corp.’s SONY +2.74% Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The overseas grosses of “No Time to Die,” were higher. International markets have brought in $257 million more to the movie, where MGM shares distribution duties with Universal Pictures of Comcast Corp.

In his final role as 007 in “No Time to Die”, Mr. Craig stars in the movie. Since 2006’s “Casino Royale,” the actor is credited for revitalizing the franchise.

James Bond remains a marquee property in Hollywood’s franchise-obsessed culture. The character was also one of the crown jewels of Inc.’s AMZN +0.08% acquisition MGM earlier this year. The tech company will pay $6.5 billion for the studio, which is exempt from debt. The studio is best known for its hits from Hollywood’s Golden Era like “Singin’ In the Rain” and “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Bond will not be controlled by Amazon. It is managed primarily through Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. These stepsiblings inherited the rights in 1995 from their father.

They have significant creative control over the franchise, including deciding who will step into the shoes of 007. Although Amazon’s acquisition of MGM was seen to be a double-down on its streaming strategy the producers said that they were committed to keeping James Bond films on big screen.

Rumours circulated around Hollywood during the months of delays caused by coronavirus. They suggested that MGM might release “No Time to Die” to a streaming site that would allow it to be premiered in the home like other studios have done with major titles.

“We kept this movie for a while so that we could deliver it to where it was intended,” stated Mr. Lomis.