Matt Smith stars as Jack and Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie in Edgar Wright’s 'Last Night in Soho'. (Photo credit: Parisa Taghizadeh / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC)

No Time To Die has been in the Australian market for just 12 days but has already achieved what only a handful of films have done since the pandemic begun – it’s crossed the $20 million mark.

Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond rang up $6.6 million across its second weekend, a drop of 41 per cent, taking the film to just shy of $21 million for Universal.

The film should comfortably overtake Godzilla vs. Kong, which finished on $27.9 million, as the highest grossing film of 2021.

Worldwide, the 25th 007 title has now made $US733 million, making it the best performing Hollywood film of the pandemic-era.

From exhibitor accounts, No Time to Die is drawing a broad range of audiences.

“Bond held incredibly well for us, dropping only 40 per cent in the second weekend, and it’s obviously connecting with the Cremorne audience in a way that mainstream blockbusters often don’t,” Alex Temesvari, GM of Sydney’s Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace tells IF.

Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell concurs, arguing it was an excellent second weekend for the film. “We still expect it to have long legs as the older customers, in particular, find their way back to the cinema.”

At Village Cinemas the film is playing particularly well in Gold Class, with most such cinemas having little to not drop from the weekend prior. National programming manager Geoff Chard says word-of-mouth seems to be more positive for No Time To Die than 2015’s Spectre.

“It’s now tracing roughly $500,000 ahead of Spectre… which finished on $34.9 million. The weekend drop for No Time To Die is significantly lower too than Spectre (41 per cent to 51 per cent), so the lifetime number should be somewhat higher,” he tells IF.

Overall the 20 titles grossed $10.3 million, down 35 per cent on the previous, according to Numero.

That figure does not include Netflix’s acclaimed Jane Campion drama The Power of the Dog, as the streaming service has declined to report box office takings. However, exhibitors who are screening the Australian-NZ co-production report it is performing solidly.

Power of the Dog actually grossed more in its second weekend than it did during its first so the word of mouth on that film appears to be helping nicely,” Temesvari says.

In the no. 2 position was Disney’s Eternals, which held well through its third frame with a result of $1.8 million, advancing to $12.8 million.

Opening in third was Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, which bowed to $426,717 from 249 screens for Universal.

Melbourne’s Cinema Nova was the leading site for the film nationally, but other exhibitors argued that the ’60s-set psychological horror, which premiered in Venice and stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Kiwi Thomasin McKenzie, performed below expectation.

As Dell puts it: “Unfortunately, Last Night in Soho didn’t do a great deal for us – highbrow horror is a difficult sell in our areas, so not totally unexpected despite the excellent reviews.”

Animated film Ron’s Gone Wrong seems to have found an audience for Disney, collecting $308,863 in its fourth weekend, climbing to $2.1 million overall.

Stablemate Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings remains in the top five despite now being available on Disney+. The Marvel film now sits on $17 million after gathering $163,894 in its 12 weekend.

Indian films dominate the rest of the top 10, with Hindi-language actioner Sooryavanshi now on $1.4 million for Mindblowing Films after ringing up $157,987 in its third frame.

Malayalam crime thriller Kurup opened on $152,607 for Southern Star from just 31 screens – an impressive average of $4,923 per screen – while Forum Films’ Punjabi-language actioner Warning, directed by Amar Hundal, opened to $114,081 from 30 theatres.

Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Movie found another $108,554 in its tenth frame, moving to $3.6 million.

Rounding out the top ten was Mindblowing’s comedy Bunty Aur Babli 2, which opened to $105,682 from 47 screens.

Of the Aussie titles in release, Nitram looks to be ending its run just in time for its debut on Stan this Wednesday. The Justin Kurzel film gathered $12,672 in its eighth week, bringing its cume to $451,366 for Madman.

Looking forward to the end of the year, from this weekend onwards the market will see a slew of new releases. Thursday sees Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Boss Baby: Family Business and Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho enter the market.

“We’re very much looking forward to the opening of Venom: Let Their Be Carnage this Thursday, and are expecting a similar opening weekend to the first film released back in 2018, which opened to $9.3 million,” says Chard.

This weekend will also see the release of a number upscale titles, including Palme d’Or winner Titane and Golden Bear winner Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. In Melbourne, audiences will also finally be treated to Madeleine Martiniello’s doco Palazzo di Cozzo, a portrait of the city’s furniture magnate Franco Cozzo.

As Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly puts it: “Audiences will have their work cut out for them as they try to keep up with the plethora of new releases.”

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