Can James Bond Save Cinemas?

It sounds like a cheesy tagline we may have heard from an old Bond trailer.

“When the film industry is at risk, it is good to know we can still count on a number and a name: 007 – Bond, James Bond.”

Two pieces of entertainment news have been recently colliding. The first is the continuing financial slide of cinemas due to COVID-19. The second is the reemergence of No Time To Die marketing. Déjà vu circa February/March 2020.


With Black Widow moving to Summer 2021 and Wonder Woman now slotted for Christmas (maybe), it appears it is up to 007 to save the world’s cinemas. Tenet has stopped the bleeding with $350+ million worldwide, but that is not enough to ensure the future of movie theaters. Perhaps Tenet was never the ideal film to save the day. For as brilliant a director Christopher Nolan is, his films (aside from the Dark Knight trilogy) are a bit too esoteric for most audiences. The world is going through hell right now and movie-goers are probably not in the mood for a film that will cause them to have a brain hemorrhage by the 3rd act.

I have been reading lately that MGM and EON have reached the point of no return when it comes to releasing No Time To Die.


That brief flirtation with streaming is long gone, if it ever even existed. Bond movies make close to 75% of their money overseas and they burned through $50 million in marketing the last time they delayed. So it appears that James Bond is coming to worldwide theaters in November for better or worse. I believe No Time To Die can double Tenet’s box-office earnings.

I am not saying Bond cinema domination will be easy. Theaters will be at 30% or 40% capacity and two of the biggest markets are in serious trouble. The U.K. has had a recent surge in COVID numbers, but I trust my wiser older brothers and sisters across the pond will get it together soon. As for my country, let’s just say that at least a quarter of the population would drink bleach if their cult leader demanded it. We are hopeless right now, go on without us. The good news is that No Time To Die could realistically play in more theaters than any Bond film before it and might stay in theaters months longer than usual.

I respect and completely understand the Bond fans who are not ready to risk their health by going to the movies. I can only speak from my own personal experience when I say I will see NTTD ASAP. When I saw Tenet a few weeks ago, I felt safer than at the grocery store. Now keep in mind I wore a mask the whole time, did not eat or drink anything, Purell-ed my hands before/during/after and was isolated from others. Not exactly a wonderful cinema experience, but we must adapt to our new planet Covidia.

There has been a line from the upcoming Bond flick that has been entrenched in my mind for a couple of weeks. It pops up when I think about why my vote in my nation’s upcoming election is vital for our sudden fragile democracy. Now this quote is in my head again when I think what might happen to cinemas if No Time To Die fails to show up in seven weeks.

I’ll let James say it better than I ever could.


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