Box Office: Bond Opens on Top as ‘No Time to Die’ Targets $60 Million Opening Weekend

North American audiences are showing up for Daniel Craig’s final bow as James Bond. MGM and EON Productions’ “No Time to Die” is expected to open at the top of the domestic box office with a projected weekend haul of $60 million.

The 25th film in the 007 franchise earned an impressive $23.3 million on Friday and Thursday night previews. The release marks United Artists Releasing’s widest theatrical launch in history, opening across 4,407 theaters. While “No Time to Die’s” Friday numbers fall a bit short of those of recent series entries like 2015’s “Spectre” ($27.4 million) and 2012’s Skyfall (a franchise high $30.5 million), the total still indicates notable enthusiasm for the film, especially for a time where there remains some trepidation about going to movie theaters.

“No Time to Die” has been received well by both the movie-going public and critics. The film landed an “A-” grade on CinemaScore, indicating strong approval from general audiences, and currently carries an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In his review of “No Time to Die,” Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman called the entry “an unabashedly conventional Bond film that’s been made with high finesse and just the right touch of soul, as well as enough sleek surprise to keep you on edge.”

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (“True Detective”), “No Time to Die” follows Craig’s Bond as he is drawn back into active service by an old friend. The returning cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux, Rory Kinnear, Ben Whishaw and Jeffrey Wright. Series newcomers Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch and Billy Magnussen also star, along with Rami Malek as the film’s antagonist.

The box office’s runner-up slot will be taken by the second weekend of Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” The Marvel sequel netted $8.85 million on Friday and is headed to a projected $31.1 million weekend total. That number would mark a 64% drop from the film’s record-setting opening weekend of $90.1 million, the largest domestic box office debut of the pandemic era.

Meanwhile, UAR and MGM’s “The Addams Family 2” will take third. The film earned $2.77 million on Friday. The animated sequel is only projected to drop 38% in its second weekend, a remarkable hold-over for a film that became available through at-home rentals on the same day of its theatrical debut.

Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is headed for fourth place, grossing $1.17 million on Friday for a running total of $209.4 million. The superhero movie has been a box office mainstay since its opening on Labor Day weekend. Rounding out the five is the second weekend of “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel to HBO’s renowned crime series “The Sopranos.” The Warner Bros. release grossed $400,000 on Friday, a whopping 80% drop from its opening day last week. While “Many Saints” has struggled at the box office, streaming viewership data indicates that the film drew plenty of eyeballs on HBO Max.

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