MGM’s ‘No Time to Die’ Opens With $56 Million Box Office

MGM/United Artists Releasing’s newest James Bond actioner, No Time to Die, dominated the North American box office, generating a projected $56 million in ticket sales across more than 4,400 screens through Oct. 10. Daniel Craig’s last role as Agent 007 is expected to add to the tally through the Oct. 11 holiday.

With a reported 25% of ticket buyers first-time moviegoers since the pandemic began, the 25th Bond movie is projected to have strong legs over the coming weekends. MGM and industry observers had estimated North American ticket sales from $60 million to $70 million. Still, No Time is the fourth-largest Bond movie opening after Skyfall with $88.3 million, Spectre ($70.4 million) and Quantum of Solace with $67.5 million.

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The movie is expected to soon surpass $300 million at the global box office, the second consecutive $100+ million weekend box office since the movie’s Oct. 1 international debut in select (notably the U.K.) markets. No Time opens in China, the world’s No. 2 box office, Oct. 29.

“A lot of people came out and saw this movie and it was the first movie they went back to the cinemas,” Erik Lomis, president of distribution at United Artists Releasing, said in a media comment. “No Time to Die will play and play. They’ll tell friends how much fun they had at the theater and then they’ll come back.”

Notably, an EntTelligence report suggests 4.2 million people visited North American theaters to watch No Time to Die through Oct. 10. Of those moviegoers, 56% plan to purchase the movie digitally or on disc when it hits retail channels.

No Time to Worry: James Bond Is Returning to the Box Office

With more than $121 million in international ticket sales entering the Columbus Day weekend, MGM/United Artists Releasing’s domestic debut of the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is projected to be a runaway winner at the box office through Oct. 10-11.

The movie, which has seen its release delayed four times due to the pandemic, has more than the usual buzz surrounding a Bond movie. In addition to a Grammy-winning theme song from Billie Eilish, and a 4,400-screen launch, No Time represents actor Daniel Craig’s fifth and final turn as Agent 007, a role he singularly rebooted into his own (including blond hair) — with smashing success.

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Craig’s previous Bond roles in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre generated a collective $3.2 billion in global ticket sales.

Interestingly, Craig’s No Time co-star, Ana de Armas, stole the show (and award nominations) in Craig’s biggest non-Bond movie, Knives Out, which generated more than $311 million at the box office.

Assisting Bond over Columbus Day is the reality that big tentpole movies are again resonating with COVID-leery moviegoers. Following the September domination of Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Sony Pictures sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, shattered expectations with a $90 million box office debut Oct. 1-3.

In addition, online ticket platform Fandango reportedly has pre-sold more tickets for No Time than Let There Be Carnage and Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga. With the hype, industry scuttlebutt suggests No Time could become the first Bond movie to crack $100 million in its opening weekend. Skyfall remains the biggest Bond opener with $88.4 million through Nov. 9-11, 2012.

Meanwhile, Let There Be Carnage is projected to generate upwards of $28 million in its second weekend at theaters, with MGM/United Artists Releasing’s The Addams Family 2 selling another $10 million in domestic tickets.

Documentary About Daniel Craig’s Time Playing James Bond Streaming for Free on Apple TV App

The documentary Being James Bond from MGM will be available to stream as a free rental exclusively on the Apple TV app ahead of the upcoming theatrical release of No Time to Die, the 25th film in the official “James Bond” franchise. Customers in more than 30 countries and regions around the globe can access the film for free on the Apple TV app from Sept. 7 to Oct. 7.

The 45-minute retrospective features actor Daniel Craig candidly reflecting on his 15-year tenure as the cinematic secret agent. Including never-before-seen archival footage from Casino Royale to No Time to Die, Craig shares his personal memories in conversation with 007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, in the lead up to his final performance as James Bond.

“A lot of people here have worked on five pictures with me,” Craig notes during the conversation with the films’ producers in Being James Bond. “I’ve loved every single second of these movies, and especially this one because I’ve got up every morning and I’ve had the chance to work with you guys, and that has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”

“Daniel has just taken this, the character, the series, the whole thing, to a place that is so … extraordinary. And so emotionally satisfying,” Broccoli says in the documentary.

“It’s also emotionally tough being Daniel’s last one. It’s tough on Barbara, it’s tough on me,” Wilson adds.

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The Apple TV app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL, and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Customers can visit https://apple.co/-beingjamesbond on iPhone, iPad and Mac now to add Being James Bond to Up Next on the Apple TV app and be alerted when the film is available to watch.

Being James Bond was directed by Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool) and produced by Charlie Thomas, Carla Poole and Special Treats Productions. Colin Burrows served as executive producer.

No Time to Die will be released in theaters beginning Sept. 30 in the  United Kingdom through Universal Pictures International, and in the United States on October 8 through MGM via their United Artists Releasing banner. The latest trailers for the film were released Aug. 31.

Remastered 20th Anniversary ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ Blu-ray Coming June 1

Paramount Home Entertainment is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie with a newly remastered Blu-ray Disc edition of the film June 1.

Originally released on June 15, 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider stars Angelina Jolie as the video game adventurer, whose exploits send her on a quest for a mysterious and powerful artifact.  The movie also stars Jon Voight, Daniel Craig, Noah Taylor and Iain Glen.

The 20th anniversary Blu-ray will include a digital copy of the film and about 90 minutes of previously released bonus content:

  • Commentary with director Simon West;
  • “Digging into Tomb Raider” featurette;
  • “Crafting Lara Croft” featurette;
  • “The Visual Effects of Tomb Raider” featurette;
  • “The Stunts of Tomb Raider” featurette;
  • “Are You Game? ” featurette;
  • Deleted scenes;
  • U2 “Elevation” music video;
  • Alternate main title;
  • Trailers.

 

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Also due June 1 will be a two-movie collection pairing Lara Croft: Tomb Raider with its 2003 sequel, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — The Cradle of Life, released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The set includes a digital copy for both films.

The sequel, also starring Jolie, finds Lara Croft on a quest to recover Pandora’s Box before it’s found by a maniacal scientist (Ciarán Hinds) who plans to use it for mass annihilation.

 

Analyst: Coronavirus Pandemic Could Hurt Disc Sales

On the heels of Netflix adding nearly 16 million subscribers in 90 days and increased transactional VOD sales, consumer migration toward digital distribution during the coronavirus pandemic is undisputed.

New data from London-based GlobalData suggests shutdowns in the economy worldwide, including many retailers, has undermined sales of packaged media, including DVD and Blu-ray Disc as consumers question discretionary spending on home entertainment.

“It is clear streaming services are becoming integral to consumers’ lives and the numerous lockdowns across the world are encouraging people to spend more time in front of the TV or on a laptop,” analyst Zoë Mills said in a statement.

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Mills said increased streaming video could have a detrimental impact on the sales of DVDs for retailers not only during the lockdown but after as well as consumers are tied to these subscriptions and have less of a reason to purchase a physical movie.

Specifically, Mills said the home video market would be undermined by the lack of new releases driven by pushbacks and delays of theatrical titles by studios. The analyst cited the newest James Bond movie with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, which saw its theatrical release delayed from April to November — if not longer. The postponement means the packaged-media release won’t happen until 2021.

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“Previous James Bond releases have offered a boost in retail sales and while this will instead be felt in 2021, for retailers already in trouble, with no notable releases this year, 2021 may be too far away,” Mills said.

Knives Out

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 2/25/20;
Lionsgate;
Mystery Comedy;
Box Office $163.71 million;
$29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $42.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material.
Stars Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Noah Segan, K Callan, M. Emmet Walsh, Frank Oz.

Director Rian Johnson’s penchant for subverting expectations has manifested itself in the delightful Knives Out, a modernized take on the classic murder mystery format.

The set-up is familiar. In a quirky mansion in the countryside of New England, the maid discovers the body of her wealthy employer — crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) — dead from seemingly cutting his own throat.

As Harlan’s family comes out of the woodwork for the funeral and reading of the will, the police initially rule it a suicide. Yet the case remains open at the behest of private sleuth Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), Johnson’s southern-flavored homage to the likes of Columbo and Hercule Peroit. Hired by an anonymous party to ensure all aspects of Harlan’s death are explored, Blanc quickly uncovers dissension within the family, several members of which having had loud arguments with Harlan in the day leading up to his death.

The expertly-crafted, Oscar-nominated screenplay toys with the conventions of the genre, revealing what actually happened within the first 30 minutes or so, then uses the next hour-and-a-half to clue the audience in the fuller context of the events viewers have already seen, thus providing the true focus of the mystery.

Blanc recruits Harlan’s nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), to aid in his investigation, though she is more aware of what happened than she lets on. A unique physical tic causes her to puke whenever she lies, providing one of the film’s central running gags but also lending a fair amount of tension to the proceedings as Marta has a fair number of secrets she’d rather not help expose either. The pairing of Craig and de Armas must have been agreeable enough for them, as she’s slated to appear in his next James Bond movie. And for Craig, tapped to reprise Blanc investigating new cases in future sequels, the role offers a nice new franchise once he wraps up his tenure as the super spy.

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This is the kind of film that not only invites multiple viewings, but practically demands them. Luckily, the Blu-ray offers a couple of nice options for the rewatch in the form of audio commentaries that dissect the story structure and reveal many of the details layered into the film’s intricate construction. Both are well worth a listen. One is a solo commentary by Johnson, originally released online while the film was still in theaters so fans could listen to it through headphones when they returned to their local cinema to partake in a fresh viewing. The second commentary, recorded for the home video release, features Johnson, cinematographer Steve Yedlin, and actor Noah Segan, who plays one of the cops investigating the murder.

Visually, Knives Out is gorgeous, shot digitally yet rendered to evoke the feeling of classic film, bringing forth textures and color that immerse the viewer in the story’s uneasy atmosphere while making one wish they too could be crawling around that quirky old mansion searching for clues.

The Blu-ray includes the outstanding “Making a Murder,” an eight-part, feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary that provides in-depth details on all aspects of the production, from writing it, to casting it, to making the costumes and sets, and recording the music. It runs a shade under two hours in total.

The “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette supplements this a bit, with a six-minute video on how Johnson created the story to be, as he describes it, a Hitchcock thriller within a whodunit. There’s also a 42-minute Q&A from a SAG screening in November that gives the massive cast a chance to sing their own praises while recounting their joy in making the movie.

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The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes comprising about five total minutes, with optional commentary by Johnson. These add some interesting subtext to some of the film’s subplots, but it’s easy to understand the decision to omit them from the final cut.

Finally, the disc offers a trove of marketing materials, including trailers and viral ads starring several of the characters in the film.

All-in-all, it’s an impressive package that harkens back to the glory days of DVDs that really gave fans a lot of bang for their buck.

‘Knives Out’ Coming Home on Digital Feb. 7, Disc — Including 4K — Feb. 25

The murder mystery Knives Out, which earned writer-director Rian Johnson an Oscar nom for Best Original screenplay, is heading home.

Lionsgate will release the whodunnit on digital Feb. 7 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and on demand Feb. 25.

The film, which has earned $278 million at the global box office, also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Ana de Armas) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Daniel Craig). Written, produced, and directed by Johnson (Star Wars: The Last JediLooper), Knives Out also has received awards from AFI, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics, Philadelphia Film Festival, The Hollywood Critics Association and Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomatoes Awards.

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In addition to Craig and de Armas, the film’s ensemble cast includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer. It follows the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer). There’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) knows for sure — everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth.

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Special features include an audio commentary and in-theater commentary by filmmaker Rian Johnson, two deleted scenes, the eight-part “Making a Murder” documentary, the “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette, and a Q&A with the director and cast.

‘Daniel Craig Collection’ of Bond Films Shooting to 4K UHD Oct. 22

The Daniel Craig Collection, with four James Bond films starring the actor, will come out on 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision Oct. 22 from MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The collection includes Casino RoyaleQuantum of SolaceSkyfall and Spectre, and features the extended unrated version of Casino Royale and includes select special features on Casino Royale and Skyfall.

Casino Royale features crew commentary, and Skyfall features commentary by director Sam Mendes and commentary by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and production designer Dennis Gassner.

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Craig is currently in production on his fifth installment as James Bond in the franchise’s 25th feature film No Time to Die, set for U.S. theatrical release on April 10, 2020.