No Time to Die has become one of the top five largest domestic debuts of 2021.
The latest installment in the James Bond franchise — Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the iconic spy character — earned $56 million at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend.
Despite the movie’s No. 1 ranking, however, the gross fell slightly below the projected earnings of $60 to $70 million, Variety reports. The film has done better internationally, with global collections totaling $313 million, as of Sunday.
No Time to Die follows Craig’s Bond coming out of retirement after he’s recruited by Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) to help find a missing scientist. Bond soon becomes immersed in a menacing mission that puts him at odds with his newest adversary, Safin (Rami Malek), who has his hands on dangerous new technology.
The film additionally stars Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz.
No Time to Die was originally set for release in April 2020 before being postponed due to the COVID pandemic. It was first rescheduled for November 2020 and then April 2021, before finally landing on an Oct. 8 release date.
Ahead of its theatrical release, the movie earned rave reviews from critics.
“With his fifth movie as 007, Craig is so extraordinary he leaves only scorched earth behind. There will be other Bonds for those who want them. For everyone else, there’s Craig,” wrote Time critic Stephanie Zacharek.
“As Bond swan songs go, it’s a fond farewell: faithfully bridging the old world and the new until the last, deathless postscript,” said Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt.
Craig, 53, discussed the film in a recent interview with CNN, explaining that he thinks seeing it in theaters beats watching at home.
“That’s where movies like this belong, where all movies belong, in my opinion,” he told the outlet. “We’re a very social species ordinarily and we need to get out there and experience a few things together.”
Last week, the actor was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making him the fourth Bond actor to receive the honor following Roger Moore, David Niven and Pierce Brosnan.
His star is placed next to the late Moore, who died in 2017.
No Time To Die is now playing in theaters.
Marvel Studio’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage landed the No. 2 spot for the weekend, earning $32 million in its second weekend for a 10-day domestic total of $141.7 million.
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