‘No Time To Die’ Posters: The Next James Bond Movie Has One Big Advantage Over ‘Spectre’

Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'No Time to Die'

Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'No Time to Die'

MGM

As promised, we got six character posters for No Time to Die, featuring colorful portraits of Daniel Craig (a retired James Bond), Lashana Lynch (allegedly the new 007 while Bond is playing shuffleboard), Ben Whishaw (Q, now officially hotter than the guy playing 007), Léa Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swan, hopefully not getting fridged in the first reel) Rami Malek (the bad guy, who may or may not be Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld in disguise) and Ana de Armas (allegedly something of a wild card, holding a gun in each armas). I’ll mourn the lack of character posters for Naomi Harris’ Moneypenny, Ralph Fiennes’ M and Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter, but I digress. We should have a teaser trailer by this time tomorrow, thus continuing the flurry of pre-Star Wars, pre-Jumanji and pre-Cats trailer drops.  

With the presumption that the fifth and final Daniel Craig movie will both be better than Spectre (not a high bar) and a better send-off flick than was accorded to Sean Connery (Diamonds Are Forever), Roger Moore (A View to a Kill) and Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day), there’s little reason to believe that this 25th James Bond movie (not counting the off brand Never Say Never Again in 1983) won’t be a pre-summer box office monster when it opens on April 10. That’s certainly the hope, as MGM (the domestic distributor) needs a monster domestic hit and Universal (the overseas distributor) would love to add 007 to its run of ongoing “big” franchises (the Illumination toons, the DreamWorks movies, Jurassic World, Fast & Furious, etc.) sans any comic book superhero titles.

The big hook will be both “Hey, it’s been over four years since the last James Bond movie,” and “Hey, this is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final performance as James Bond.” The “finale hook” will likely be in full swing, as we’ve seen for everything from Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to Logan to the most recent Avengers and Star Wars movies. Despite only appearing in five films, Craig’s run lasted from 2006 to 2020, a record 14 years for a single 007 actor. Sean Connery made six official flicks between Dr. No in 1962 and Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. Roger Moore made seven between Live and Let Die in 1973 and A View to a Kill in 1985. Peirce Brosnan made four 007 flicks between GoldenEye in 1995 and Die Another Day in 2002.

Because of the long gaps between Quantum of Solace in November of 2008 and Skyfall in November of 2012, and now Spectre in November of 2015 and No Time to Die in April of 2020, Craig has made fewer 007 movies than Connery and Moore in a longer span of time. Of course, Craig has also had time to make plenty of non-Bond flicks like The Invasion, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Logan Lucky and Knives Out in between Bond flicks, with his run operating not unlike Hugh Jackman’s 2000-2017 run as Wolverine in the X-Men movies (seven starring roles and a handful of cameos), during which he had plenty of time to make movies like Swordfish, The Prestige, Les Misérables and Eddie the Eagle. They appeared onstage together in 2009 for A Steady Rain.

Anyway, back to No Time to Die. This is the first 007 movie since License to Kill in 1989 not to open in November or December (Tomorrow Never Dies opened concurrently with Titanic in December of 1997). And it is the first 007 movie not to open either during the year-end holidays or the summer since (not counting Never Say Never Again opening in October of 1983) the second-ever 007 flick, From Russia With Love which opened on April 8, 1964. Every other James Bond movie opened either during the summer or in the months of November or December (give or take early UK debuts in late October). So, yeah, No Time to Die opening a month before summer is an usual choice, even in this “year-round tentpole” environment. But the early release date comes with one advantage.

Spectre opened in November of 2015 at the tail-end of a year filled with homages, spoofs and related James Bond/007-type movies. Fox had Kingsman: The Secret Service ($411 million worldwide on an $80 million budget) in February and Spy ($235 million/$60 million) in June. Warner Bros. offered The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ($107 million/$75 million) in mid-August while Paramount released Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($681 million/$150 million) in late July to get away from December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heck, if you count it, the “real world action” franchise Fast & Furious became the very biggest of the bunch with Furious 7 earning an absurd $350 million domestic/$1.517 billion worldwide in April of 2015. Yes, Universal would love to see a repeat of that performance, give-or-take F&F’s overperformances in China.

The cruel irony is that all four of these movies were better and more interesting in one way or another than Spectre. The crueler irony is that it didn’t matter, as Spectre’s ham-fisted “007 does generational nostalgia and worldbuilding” still mostly ruled the roost, out grossing everything except for the Fast & Furious movie. The good news for 007 is that the franchise is such an “every new movie is a clean slate” series that you can easily follow up the terrible Man with the Golden Gun with the dynamite The Spy Who Loved Me. The better news, for this film, is that 007 is going first this time. I’ll be opening BEFORE the likes of Black Widow, Fast & Furious 9, and The King’s Man (after the Kingsman prequel moved from February 2020 to September 2020).

No Time to Die must give Daniel Craig the rare chance to be the first long-term 007 actor to go out with a decent movie, and to prove that coming back after the close-ended Spectre was more than just a financial consideration. But by going first in terms of the year’s big “real world” action movies (which also includes Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick in June and kinda/sorta Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy in July), No Time To Die has less to prove in terms of big movies (give or take Blake Lively’s seemingly small-scale Rhythm Section on January 31) trying to walk the path first created by James Bond. No Time to Die doesn’t have to show that nobody does it better, merely that James Bond still does it well enough to justify the theatrical excursion.

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As promised, we got six character posters for No Time to Die, featuring colorful portraits of Daniel Craig (a retired James Bond), Lashana Lynch (allegedly the new 007 while Bond is playing shuffleboard), Ben Whishaw (Q, now officially hotter than the guy playing 007), Léa Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swan, hopefully not getting fridged in the first reel) Rami Malek (the bad guy, who may or may not be Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld in disguise) and Ana de Armas (allegedly something of a wild card, holding a gun in each armas). I’ll mourn the lack of character posters for Naomi Harris’ Moneypenny, Ralph Fiennes’ M and Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter, but I digress. We should have a teaser trailer by this time tomorrow, thus continuing the flurry of pre-Star Wars, pre-Jumanji and pre-Cats trailer drops.  

With the presumption that the fifth and final Daniel Craig movie will both be better than Spectre (not a high bar) and a better send-off flick than was accorded to Sean Connery (Diamonds Are Forever), Roger Moore (A View to a Kill) and Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day), there’s little reason to believe that this 25th James Bond movie (not counting the off brand Never Say Never Again in 1983) won’t be a pre-summer box office monster when it opens on April 10. That’s certainly the hope, as MGM (the domestic distributor) needs a monster domestic hit and Universal (the overseas distributor) would love to add 007 to its run of ongoing “big” franchises (the Illumination toons, the DreamWorks movies, Jurassic World, Fast & Furious, etc.) sans any comic book superhero titles.

The big hook will be both “Hey, it’s been over four years since the last James Bond movie,” and “Hey, this is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final performance as James Bond.” The “finale hook” will likely be in full swing, as we’ve seen for everything from Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to Logan to the most recent Avengers and Star Wars movies. Despite only appearing in five films, Craig’s run lasted from 2006 to 2020, a record 14 years for a single 007 actor. Sean Connery made six official flicks between Dr. No in 1962 and Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. Roger Moore made seven between Live and Let Die in 1973 and A View to a Kill in 1985. Peirce Brosnan made four 007 flicks between GoldenEye in 1995 and Die Another Day in 2002.

Because of the long gaps between Quantum of Solace in November of 2008 and Skyfall in November of 2012, and now Spectre in November of 2015 and No Time to Die in April of 2020, Craig has made fewer 007 movies than Connery and Moore in a longer span of time. Of course, Craig has also had time to make plenty of non-Bond flicks like The Invasion, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Logan Lucky and Knives Out in between Bond flicks, with his run operating not unlike Hugh Jackman’s 2000-2017 run as Wolverine in the X-Men movies (seven starring roles and a handful of cameos), during which he had plenty of time to make movies like Swordfish, The Prestige, Les Misérables and Eddie the Eagle. They appeared onstage together in 2009 for A Steady Rain.

Anyway, back to No Time to Die. This is the first 007 movie since License to Kill in 1989 not to open in November or December (Tomorrow Never Dies opened concurrently with Titanic in December of 1997). And it is the first 007 movie not to open either during the year-end holidays or the summer since (not counting Never Say Never Again opening in October of 1983) the second-ever 007 flick, From Russia With Love which opened on April 8, 1964. Every other James Bond movie opened either during the summer or in the months of November or December (give or take early UK debuts in late October). So, yeah, No Time to Die opening a month before summer is an usual choice, even in this “year-round tentpole” environment. But the early release date comes with one advantage.

Spectre opened in November of 2015 at the tail-end of a year filled with homages, spoofs and related James Bond/007-type movies. Fox had Kingsman: The Secret Service ($411 million worldwide on an $80 million budget) in February and Spy ($235 million/$60 million) in June. Warner Bros. offered The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ($107 million/$75 million) in mid-August while Paramount released Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($681 million/$150 million) in late July to get away from December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heck, if you count it, the “real world action” franchise Fast & Furious became the very biggest of the bunch with Furious 7 earning an absurd $350 million domestic/$1.517 billion worldwide in April of 2015. Yes, Universal would love to see a repeat of that performance, give-or-take F&F’s overperformances in China.

The cruel irony is that all four of these movies were better and more interesting in one way or another than Spectre. The crueler irony is that it didn’t matter, as Spectre’s ham-fisted “007 does generational nostalgia and worldbuilding” still mostly ruled the roost, out grossing everything except for the Fast & Furious movie. The good news for 007 is that the franchise is such an “every new movie is a clean slate” series that you can easily follow up the terrible Man with the Golden Gun with the dynamite The Spy Who Loved Me. The better news, for this film, is that 007 is going first this time. I’ll be opening BEFORE the likes of Black Widow, Fast & Furious 9, and The King’s Man (after the Kingsman prequel moved from February 2020 to September 2020).

No Time to Die must give Daniel Craig the rare chance to be the first long-term 007 actor to go out with a decent movie, and to prove that coming back after the close-ended Spectre was more than just a financial consideration. But by going first in terms of the year’s big “real world” action movies (which also includes Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick in June and kinda/sorta Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy in July), No Time To Die has less to prove in terms of big movies (give or take Blake Lively’s seemingly small-scale Rhythm Section on January 31) trying to walk the path first created by James Bond. No Time to Die doesn’t have to show that nobody does it better, merely that James Bond still does it well enough to justify the theatrical excursion.

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I've studied the film industry, both academically and informally, and with an emphasis in box office analysis, for nearly 30 years. I have extensively written about all

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