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Those turning out Thursday night to see one of the first showings of No Time to Die at the AMC theater in Burbank, California, were treated to a surprise visit from 007 himself. Or rather, actor Daniel Craig and co-star Rami Malek.
No Time to Die — marking Craig’s fifth and final turn playing the big screen’s most famous spy — was the first of numerous Hollywood tentpoles whose release was delayed again and again due to the pandemic.
MGM and Eon Productions waited until they could open the tentpole exclusively in cinemas — even though it meant holding off for more than 18 months — versus making the movie available immediately in the home.
Directed by Cary Fukunaga, No Time to Die‘s cast also includes Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz, alongside series newcomers Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Malek.
In North America, No Time to Die will be playing in 4,407 theaters as of Friday, the widest footprint of any Bond pic, following Thursday evening previews in select theaters across the country and special Wednesday-night screenings in some Imax locations.
Tracking suggests that the 25th installment in the franchise will clear at least $60 million in its domestic launch; more bullish analysts believe the number could be closer to $70 million but note that the Bond films have always relied in part on older audiences, a demo more reluctant to return to theaters until the pandemic has ended.
No Time to Die is being distributed in North America by United Artists Releasing and Universal, where the big-budget film opened to $121 million last weekend from its first 54 markets.
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