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Bond breaks the box office showcasing the power of cinema

Record-breaking box office and audience figures exemplify the enduring power of Bond

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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Seven actors, twenty-six movies, fourteen books and still James Bond continues to capture the imaginations of audiences. After numerous delays, No Time To Die has proved worth the wait, putting cinema back on the map and grossing a record-breaking £26m at the UK box office in just four days making it the biggest film of the year so far.

No Time To Die has been bigger than both Skyfall and SPECTRE, delivering over 2M Digital Cinema Media (DCM) admissions across four days. This figure includes ticket sales from across DCM’s estate, which includes Odeon, Cineworld, Vue, Picturehouse, Curzon and over 160 independent cinemas, representing 80% of the market. 

For context, a pre-pandemic full cinema week would usually deliver 2.5M admissions across the DCM estate, with the full coming week expected to deliver 2.8M admissions across all films. No Time To Die was able to almost match this in a single weekend alone.

Even prior to the exceptional opening weekend, advertiser demand for Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 was extremely high, with a record number of forward bookings and brands looking to take advantage of the commercial opportunities associated with the cultural phenomenon that is James Bond. Premium spots sold out almost two months in advance, with a range of brands taking advantage such as Sky, Google and Lloyds.

Almost 40% of cinema’s returning audience to date are 16-34s, which is up from 34% from pre-pandemic, but Bond has been drawing back those less frequent cinemagoers, including older audiences. The recent success of No Time to Die has proved that cinema continues to attract engaged and attentive audiences.

“The UK cinema industry’s reopening has been a resounding success to date, but the anticipated return of Bond has solidified the pent-up desire from audiences to return to watch new content on the big screen.” says Karen Stacey, CEO, Digital Cinema Media, “Advertisers are also taking advantage of the unique and immersive experience the cinema medium offers, bolstering cinema ad revenues.”

As Craig exits the role and conversations continue around who will next put on the suit, Bond has proved time and time again to be a winner with audiences. Whilst it might have been Bond and his suave persona that managed to lure audiences back to the cinema, the rest of the year is shaping up well with big releases like Dune and The French Dispatch. After being hard hit by the pandemic, the sector has rebuilt stronger and brands can now look to cinema with a renewed sense of opportunity. 

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