Box Office Challenges

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,983MI6 Agent

    There are only a few weeks left of the year and Omikron will be a big problem. I'm far from being an expert, but I can't ser Spider-man and Matrix getting more sales than NTTD in 2021.

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,292MI6 Agent

    Hollywood counts box office receipts starting with the day the movie hits theaters rather than earnings within the calendar year. It’s just accounting hocus pocus. But It’s not uncommon for the highest earners of a given year on industry lists to be films that opened around Christmas and then made their money in January, February, etc.

    The fact remains that NTTD performed damned well under the circumstances. Eon mismanaged a lot with this movie over the past years but they were brilliant in the end game.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,983MI6 Agent

    That is, like you say, accounting hocus pocus. In real life NTTD is the English language movie that made the most money in 2021. I suppose that also means NTTD is the most viewed English language movie at the cinema this year.

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    No Way Home made a ridiculous $121.5 million on Friday (that includes around $50 million from Thursday night previews) in the USA alone. It's tracking to overtake NTTD's US box office haul on its second day of release and is projected to have a $240 million weekend debut in the USA alone. It will almost certainly overtake NTTD's worldwide box office; only question mark is if it does it before the end of the year, which at this point seems quite doable.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,983MI6 Agent

    Superhero movies are opium for the cinema-going masses.

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    Superhero movies appeal to a wider demographic, be it younger viewers who love the action and super powers on display or older fans who grew up reading the source material and get a kick out of seeing a live action translation. Their ability to tap into that wider audience is at the heart of why they typically rake in so much money. That younger viewer is a demographic that Bond has had a harder and harder time tapping into lately.

    They also don't put the egos of their stars ahead of the actual movie; working instead to make a crowd pleasing experience that doesn't take itself too seriously and that the fans can actually feel good about when leaving the theater.

    BTW, the final box office for the 3 day weekend was $253 million in the USA, $587 million worldwide. At that rate, it should easily overtake NTTD by the end of the week.

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,292MI6 Agent

    Did you see Joker? The feel-good movie of 2019!

    But to your point about Bond catering to older audiences, that's undeniably true and a reason that NTTD's box office numbers weren't higher in the US (compared with something like Shang-Chi drew a younger audience not concerned about Covid).

    Eon has set a high bar for Bond movies that unless they top $1 billion, they will be considered disappointments, and I think that's a real problem going forward.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent

    for what it's worth, the new SPIDER-MAN is really entertaining. There's a reason that it's killing it at the box office.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,062MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    I bet Spider Man doesn't die at the end if it either

  • IceQIceQ Posts: 276MI6 Agent

    It’s ok if he does, they’ll just go back to the start again…

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    Bringing a movie like Joker into the discussion is problematic. Joker is not even remotely a "superhero" movie. It was conceived and marketed from before day one as a dark character study of one of the great comic book villains and not a tentpole action movie with a 60 year heritage behind it. Joker is by his nature a troubled, violent character and the movie stays true to that. By the end he accepts and embraces who and what he is and revels in it; he doesn't just stand there, impotently waiting for death to take him. That idea of accepting who and what you are is another thing these Craig movies seem to want to avoid, and I don't think that's lost on the movie going audience.

    I also think you're right with your notion of EON setting unrealistic box office goals for these movies. If they plan to continue to track away from more escapist fare then they need to adjust their expectations - and maybe their budgets for these movies - accordingly.

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    Not spoiling it but I will say this: when his secret found its way out, it was almost the death of him! 😁

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    TonyDP said:

    No Way Home made a ridiculous $121.5 million on Friday

    ...

    Superhero movies appeal to a wider demographic, be it younger viewers who love the action and super powers on display or older fans who grew up reading the source material and get a kick out of seeing a live action translation. Their ability to tap into that wider audience is at the heart of why they typically rake in so much money. That younger viewer is a demographic that Bond has had a harder and harder time tapping into lately.


    Chevarian said:

    Did you see Joker? The feel-good movie of 2019!

    I gotta point out SpiderMan is Marvel and Joker is DC. There's a general difference in tone between the competing franchises. Former industry leader DC has in recent years relied on dark and disturbing variations of the superhero fantasy to distinguish from current leaders Marvel. Even films like Superman and Justice League which should be bright and colourful are depressing. Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Shazam were exceptions done more in the Marvel style (and were successful!). The Marvel films in general all share a colourful kid-friendly fantasy wish fulfillment style. SpiderMan in particular is the most iconic Marvel character and most kid friendly of all.

    Where did DC go wrong? in the 80s they started having more success with comic books aimed at grownups deconstructing the superhero fantasy, lots of graphic violence and bad endings. One reason this was successful was the comic books were now sold in specialty stores, rather than the newsstand, shops frequented by (then) college aged men who'd grown up reading comics and now wanted to see grownup variations of their childhood fantasy. Little kids don't go into comics shops so much, and are no longer the primary market, so are not catered to. But little kids do go to superhero moves, and the Marvel films do successfully cater to them. But the DC films prefer to target the cynical grownup market, and are less successful.


    All of this is relevant to us. These CraigBond films are much the same as the DC films like Joker: an escapist adventure hero we grew up with, yet now we've grownup for some reason its not enough to produce new variations on the childhood fantasy. So we get these films where Bond gets tortured and doesn't get the girl and MI6 is incompetent and the bad guys win. Yet as folks have pointed out upthread, its mostly greyhairs in the audience, just like its now mostly middleaged men in the comics shops. If it does take another five years to make Bond26, a few of those greyhairs wont be there to see it, and if its still grim n gritty the next generation of kids wont be there either.

    which is to say, the grim n gritty deconstructionist approach seems like a losing strategy to build a new audience. If the next BondFilm is to be successful it will have to be more like this new SpiderMan film than these last five CraigBonds.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,442Chief of Staff

    Or like Bonds 1-20, perhaps? (Okay, maybe 1-19)

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,292MI6 Agent

    What a lot of you are describing sounds to me like DAD.

    Lightening up for Bond wouldn't be easy. The franchise, with its history of being spoofed, needs to walk a tightrope in terms of tone. Fall to one side and there's Kingsman (or worse Austin Powers). Fall to the other and there's SP at best: a mishmash of desperate seriousness and jokes that fall flat.

    Marvel had to work hard to find the right tone for their products. Remember those bungled Hulk films or the second Thor movie? 🤮

    Ideally you find someone with a bold vision — I don't know who that is either —but Eon won't relinquish that kind of control. In the absence of a visionary you need a Kevin Feige who can throw a lot of stuff against the wall until he sees what works. And the Bond franchise isn't going to churn out enough product for that strategy to be successful.

    And then you need the actor who can carry it all off....

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,983MI6 Agent

    Isn't QoS a better example than SP of completely serious Bond movies?

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,292MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I was contrasting a very light take on the Bond formula (Kingsman) with the most recent attempt to make a more traditional semicomic Bond movie in the form of SP.

    Posters here are rejecting outright the idea of a “completely serious” film (and yes, that would be QoS).

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,983MI6 Agent

    That's clearer and I largely agree.

  • ichaiceichaice LondonPosts: 512MI6 Agent

    Quantum might have been serious but had one of the best gags in the Craig era.

    Hello. We're teachers on sabbatical and we've just won the lottery.

    Yes. Considerably!
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukey_sparrow/
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    exactly, the Strawberry Fields scenes were the one funny part of the film that recalled the feel of the old ones, and that specific line was a fine spoof of the BondFilm trope where he somehow only stays in palatial hotel rooms that do not exist in the real world.

    Maybe that why Fields fell for the "stationary" line, she'd never even seen such a hotel room before and lost her common sense?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    chevarian said:

    What a lot of you are describing sounds to me like DAD.

    Lightening up for Bond wouldn't be easy. The franchise, with its history of being spoofed, needs to walk a tightrope in terms of tone. Fall to one side and there's Kingsman (or worse Austin Powers). Fall to the other and there's SP at best: a mishmash of desperate seriousness and jokes that fall flat.

    this is a fair point and a bit of a paradox. The first twenty films are not going anywhere, and there's no need to remake them. And to continue to make more in that style yet new, well thats what they were trying to do with the 4 Brosnans and I have issues with those (the interesting aspects in each of the 4 Brosnans are where they start to tell a new, dark, personal story, yet they all pull back to indulge in rehashes of safe formula and spectacle and the interesting story disappears midfilm).

    as a longtime fan I like to imagine "What If" scenarios, as ways to tell genuinely new Bond stories, and in fact this is exactly what the 5 Craig films are doing. And this new one may be the biggest "What If" of all, and I actually enjoyed it the most of any since Casino Royale. I thought a lot of the plot developments were natural extrapolations of the BondFantasy carried to inevitable conclusion, exactly what a "What If" story needs to do.*


    its just the context of this thread is not about what I or other hardcore fans want to see, its about financial reward on investment and longterm prospects. We were talking specifically about why the new SpiderMan was maybe more successful than the new Bond, so its not so much a question what I want to see, as what cinema goers in five years are going to want to see. The Spy who Loved Me was maybe the closest of all in tone to these Marvel films, and I saw it when I was eleven years old, and it made me a BondFanatic for life, this new film would not have achieved that.


    ________________________________________

    *by the way, What If is actually the title of a comic book Marvel published in the late 70s, where they would explore contingencies like "What If Uncle Ben had lived?" or "What If a radioactive human bit the spider?"

    The DC equivalent were called either Imaginary Stories or Elseworlds. in the early 60s, the best Superman stories were Imaginary Stories, eg What If Superman marries Lois Lane and has kids (sound familiar?) or What If Krypton never exploded. Because the regular series was so episodic it was inherently repetitive, and these Imaginary Stories were the only way they could actually do anything new with the characters and tell an interesting story for a change. Then the next issue everything would return to the status quo as if nothing unusual had just happened


  • welshboy78welshboy78 Posts: 10,125MI6 Agent

    Do the Bond films have to compete with Marvel? I think not.

    I think people forget that the DC era revived Bond at the time where the films had nowhere to go and Daniel Craig features in 4 of the 5 top grossing UK films of all time.

    Yes - maybe we now need to get back to Brosnan light relief type films again. Bond films just go around in circles.

    Instagram - bondclothes007
  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 658MI6 Agent

    part of the trouble is what people want to compare. Bond isn't for kids...

    Sure mature kids can enjoy it - especially with a good ITV cut, late teens certainly but it wasn't conceived, written or filmed for kids in the way some comic adaptations were and are.

    Trying to get Bond into that mould will destroy it far quicker than anything people try and project onto what DC did. So it definitely shouldn't be trying to be more like Spiderman.

    Also there's no reality in which NTTD wasn't a box office miracle and will have made investors plenty of money. It also took another £20 in Leicester Sq this week from me.

    Stories claiming otherwise generally follow the guise of the Variety piece which admits its theory is made up but is still going to write it because it serves the set up for what they actually wanted to write.

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    Bond appealed to kids almost from the start. Younger audiences ate up the earlier Bond movies with their fantastic plots, crazy gadgets, and futuristic sets and companies like Corgi and AC Gilbert sold plenty of product aimed at youngsters as far back as Goldfinger, long before cable and home video were even a vague idea. Indeed, during the Connery era, Bond toys were some of the most popular and sought after during the holiday season. Other companies like Mego Matchbox and Sideshow have made use of the license over the years as well and while they've always been popular to older collectors they were initially made and marketed for children. There were also plenty of Bond videogames, another product line largely geared towards a younger audience. Bond survived and even thrived under that model for the better part of five decades precisely because the marketing appealed to a wide audience, not in spite of it.

    The Craig movies have definitely pivoted away from more family accessible fare and largely abandoned licensing tie-ins geared at younger audiences. Despite that it is EON and MGM that continue to budget and market them as tentpole blockbusters for a general audience.

    With regard to the Variety piece, nowhere do they admit their theory is made up, only that it is based on sources they understandably do not wish to reveal - a journalist who reveals their sources will quickly be out of work. MGM's denials are predictable and to be expected as no studio would call a movie a disappointment while it was still playing in theaters and on home video.

    Nobody disputes NTTD made a lot of money; the larger question is whether MGM should have spent as much as the apparently did - anywhere from $250 to $350 million - in the making and marketing of it and whether future Bond films warrant that level of financial investment, especially if they continue to pivot away from a more widely appealing model.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021

    a couple weeks ago @CoolHandBond was showing us some of the Thunderball collectibles he's had since he was a child, and his descriptions made it sound like like the Star Wars of his generation.


    what is this Variety article thats been referred to a few times now? can anybody provide a link?

  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,197MI6 Agent
    edited December 2021


    My brother and I are old enough to remember most of the vintage Bond toys from the 1960s like the battery operated Aston Martin from AC Gilbert and the James Bond Racing set sold exclusively at Sears. There were countless others. In terms of licensing it very much was the Star Wars of its time.

    Here's a link to the article from Variety:

    https://variety.com/2021/film/news/no-time-to-die-highest-grossing-movie-losing-money-blockbusters-1235111919/

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    thanks for the link!

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 658MI6 Agent

    We're going to have to agree to disagree on the journalism, having been one and written similar articles I have an interpretation of the shorthand. "In any case" ...

    I'd contend what would be considered family accessible now v 1962 means the Craig era really hasn't pivoted away that much. Dalton was much starker on that front as it was earlier.

    Lots of people have been disputing that, unfortunately. By the time of the next film of course the economics of cinema will be seem entirely alien to this conversation.

    The real economic story of NTTD is that America failed to tackle Covid psychologically as effectively as a lot of other markets.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,679MI6 Agent

    At least in the United States, in the early to mid 60's (before the MPAA film ratings code), there were no age restrictions or parental warnings attached to the first 5 Bond films so while the sex and violence in those films might not seem particularly graphic by later standards, there was nothing stopping my friends and I at grammar school age from plopping down our $1.00 (yes, that was the price of admission for 12 yrs and under in '65) and seeing our share of cold blooded killings, brutal fisticuffs, and sex (all for Queen and Country of course) . Certainly, those Connery Bonds were not made for children and at least in the States we got to see them much the same as we would a Disney film.......and bloody fortunate we were for that opportunity😎.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    In 12 days time, the latest Spiderman movie has made more than $1 billion dollars, an achievement so stunning and singular that No Time to Die isn't even mentioned in the article. While I've been sick of superhero movies for about 20 years now, there's no doubt they appeal to a far wider audience than Bond does.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/26/media/spider-man-no-way-home-box-office-billion/index.html

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