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Box Office: ‘No Time To Die’ Tops ‘Shang-Chi’ With $447M As ‘Venom 2’ Nears $300M

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at January 1, 1970

No Time to Die earned another $24.3 million in its second weekend of release, dropping 56% for a $99.51 million ten-day cume. That’s a second-weekend hold comparable to the last three Daniel Craig 007 movies (-60% in 2008 -53% in 2012 and -52% in 2015), albeit with larger respective grosses. The hope is that it takes an expected second-weekend drop (partially due to Halloween Kills performing at best-case-scenario levels) and then levels out over the next month or so as the only big game in town for audiences not into superheroes, horror or sci-fi fantasy. If it legs from this point onward like Quantum of Solace or Spectre (1.55x their respective $109 million and $129 million ten-day totals), it’ll end with $155 million domestic. If it legs like Skyfall (1.88x its $161 million ten-day total), it’ll flirt with $185 million.

It’s the lowest unadjusted second-weekend gross for a 007 movie since The World Is Not Enough ($23 million over Thanksgiving 1999 after a $35 million debut), with a ten-day total just below the (Thanksgiving-inflated) $101 million ten-day cume of Die Another Day in 2002. To be fair, many of the previous Brosnan/Craig 007 flicks opened just before Thanksgiving. Much depend on how it fares against Denis Villeneuve’s Dune next weekend. If Dune doesn’t click, then Die Another Day is, by default, the only adult-skewing and non-superhero/animated/kiddie tentpole between now and Matrix Resurrections on December 22. It’s doing much better overseas (that’s the next paragraph), but we should also note that many of the “Can this franchise be saved?” tips are exactly that will inevitably happen (cheaper budget, no Covid conflicts, younger 007, soft reboot, etc.) the next time around.

However, James Bond is still kicking box office butt overseas, with another $53.988 million, dropping just 39% in Universal territories and 43% in MGM-specific ones. That’s a $77.998 million global cume and new $447.521 million worldwide total. A hold like this, presuming audiences in China (where Spectre earned $83 million) and Australia (where Spectre earned $25 million) give a damn on October 29 and then November 11, argues for a global total closer to $750 million than $650 million. Either way, it’s already past every non-Daniel Craig 007 film, sailing past the $437 million cume (in 2002) of Die Another Day. Even if it doesn’t hold firm, it’ll still almost surely pass every 007 movie save for Spectre ($881 million) and Skyfall ($1.11 billion).  And once it passes Godzilla Vs. Kong ($468 million), it’ll be the second-biggest 2021 Hollywood release.

Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage earned a $16.5 million (-50%) weekend gross and $168 million 17-day domestic cume. That puts it above A Quiet Place part II ($160 million) and behind Black Widow ($184 million), Bad Boys For Life ($204 million) and Shang-Chi ($217 million by Sunday) among 2020/2021 domestic earners. Sony’s $110 million Tom Hardy/Woody Harrelson sequel should still crawl past $200 million domestic, which is more than close enough to the $213.5 million-grossing Venom three years ago. Andy Serkis and Kelly Marcel’s rom-com horror fantasy expanded in 44 markets this weekend, earning an additional $62.3 million overseas for a new $115.1 million foreign total. That’s a new $283 million global cume. The territories represent just 41% of the international footprint, with the likes of France (October 20), Germany (October 21), Australia (November 25), Japan (December 3) still to come.

A big question is whether the film plays in China, where the first Venom earned $269 million in late 2018. That’s still the second-biggest solo superhero grosser ever in China behind Aquaman ($298 million just months later), and it made up 31.5% of the film’s $854 million global cume. Nonetheless, this is a $110 million sequel to a $90 million original which will soon cross $300 million worldwide. It shouldn’t remotely need a boost from China, a market where Sony and/or friends would have gotten back just 25% of the ticket price, to qualify as a big-deal hit. Once again, as I’ve frankly been saying for years, most of the Hollywood flicks that crush it in China concurrently succeed everywhere else in the world. Venom 2 doesn’t need China to be a hit, and nor will Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom come December 16, 2022.

The Battle at Lake Changjin earned another $71.4 million over its third weekend, dropping just 34% from its $108.5 million second-weekend gross, bringing the three-hour Korean War epic’s running cume in China to $763 million. Yes, that puts it past the $716 million global total of F9 and the $760 million domestic cume for James Cameron’s Avatar. The latter puts in fifth place among single-territory grossers behind Hi, Mom ($837 million in China), Wolf Warrior II ($854 million in China), Avengers: Endgame ($867 million domestic) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($937 million domestic). The Wu Jang/Jackson Yee “China versus America” actioner is going to pass $800 million in China without breaking a sweat, and a $900 million-plus total is entirely plausible. If this keeps up, it’ll be a problem for Dune (October 22) and No Time to Die (October 29).

MGM’s The Addams Family 2 continues to hold firm as the family movie of choice amid more “grown-up” options. The animated sequel earned $6.55 million (-35%) in weekend three for a $41.63 million 17-day cume. It’s obviously not getting anywhere near its predecessor’s $100 million domestic cume. Presuming it didn’t cost much more than the $24 million original, it very much doesn’t have to. A $55-$60 million domestic cume, plus whatever it’s earning on concurrent PVOD, will be more than enough to potentially justify a threequel. If they can pull off a solid opening over Thanksgiving with Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci (starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino, and whose trailer looks more “escapist” than The Last Duel), I’ll have to (happily) start saying nice things about their domestic distribution department.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings earned $3.54 million (-18%) over the weekend. That gives the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed MCU actioner a $218 million domestic and $414.3 million worldwide cume. Even sans any renewed interest from Eternals, it should still end up with around $225 million domestic. Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer’s Free Guy has passed $120 million domestic this weekend, which is a huge achievement even sans-Covid for a star-driven, original high-concept Hollywood flick. Disney may indeed have that long-sought-after new live-action franchise, even if it’s a 20th Century acquisition. Warner Bros. Dune earned another $8.5 million, including just -36% among holdovers as it opened in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Greece. The $165 million sci-fi epic has earned $129.3 million worldwide, including $11 million in IMAX, as it awaits its debut in China and North America this coming weekend.


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