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The wait was worth it for James Bond.
No Time to Die — whose release was delayed numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic — grossed $27.2 million on Friday from a raft of foreign markets for an impressive three-day international total of $51.4 million. The movie is opening in 54 markets a week ahead of its launch in North America on Oct. 8.
That puts the 25th installment in the storied 007 franchise on course to come in ahead of expectations and clear $113 million in its foreign debut — the best launch of the pandemic era at the international box office without China in play (the movie doesn’t open in that country until Oct. 29).
MGM partnered with U.K.-based Eon Productions on the big-budget offering. Universal is distributing the Bond installment in most major markets internationally.
No Time to Die, which staged a dazzling world premiere in London earlier this week, is directed by Cary Fukunaga and marks Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as James Bond. The cast of the film also includes Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz, along with Rami Malek, Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch.
No Time to Die is racking up records in a number of markets, including in the U.K, where the British spy series has always been a box-office hero. The movie has earned $14.2 million in its first two days of play in England and Ireland after setting opening day records on Thursday ($6.6 million) and securing the third-highest Friday ($7.6 million) ever for the month of October and the third-highest for the franchise.
No Time to Die is on track to open to $30 million in the U.K., by far the best showing of the pandemic and beating Skyfall, the top-grossing Bond film of all time.
The movie is getting the widest release ever in the U.K., playing in 772 cinemas. It is also Universal’s widest-ever release in that territory.
Its early performance is a welcome relief for British exhibitors, with many pinning their pandemic recovery hopes on Bond, traditionally a major event in U.K. cinemas anyway but this year with the added pressure of being seen as a test of consumer confidence.
No Time to Die is proving to be a balm for numerous other markets as well, including elsewhere in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
It boasts a two-day total of $6.4 million in Germany after scoring the biggest September opening day of all time behind local production Fack Ju Goehte 2. By Sunday, the action-packed offering could clear $14 million.
In Japan, the 007 pic opened to $1.6 million on Friday, the biggest Friday opening day of the Bond franchise, and the second-biggest opening day of the pandemic for a Hollywood title. The weekend is expected to reach $5.9 million.
No Time to Die is on track to open to $4.4 million in South Korea.
Full weekend numbers will be released Sunday morning.
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