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James Bond fans snap up No Time To Die tickets within minutes of release, boosting cinema chain hopes

·3-min read
The fifth and final appearance of Daniel Craig as the iconic MI6 agent sees Bond come out of retirement  (PA)
The fifth and final appearance of Daniel Craig as the iconic MI6 agent sees Bond come out of retirement (PA)

James Bond fans rushed to buy tickets to see Daniel Craig's final outing as 007 on their release on Monday, in a welcome sign for hard-hit cinema operators after over a year of pain.

International chain Vue has over 870 screens in the UK. Bosses told the Standard they saw eager fans snap up their first Bond tickets just after midnight, and said sales have "got off to a really promising start".

Fellow giant Odeon, which has over 950 screens in the UK and Ireland, said the release is another "significant milestone" in the sector's recovery from the pandemic, which saw screens shuttered for months on end, the rise of movie streaming habits and the shortening of exclusive screen windows.

The most recent Bond blockbusters, Skyfall and SPECTRE, were the second and third-highest grossing UK box office slots in British cinema history.

The last Bond movie, Spectre, co-starred Monica Belluci and made it into the UK cinema box office takings top three (SPECTRE © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc)
The last Bond movie, Spectre, co-starred Monica Belluci and made it into the UK cinema box office takings top three (SPECTRE © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc)

UK Cinema Association chief executive, Phil Clapp, told the Standard that after the last 18 months, cinema operators' anticipation for the latest installment's long-delayed release - and its revenues - is "higher than ever".

Clapp said he hopes the film will encourage many cinemagoers back for the first time.

He said: "While it would be wrong to place too many expectations on the shoulders of one title – and there is a strong film slate across the weeks up to the end of the year – the hope is that the release of No Time to Die will encourage many of the more infrequent cinema-goers to return to the big screen, perhaps for the first time since cinemas were allowed to re-open in May."

Studios have finally begun to release long-awaited films as vaccine rollouts speed up around the world, boosting cinema operators.

The long-anticipated slate of movies set to be released in the coming months also includes Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Dune.

Vue's head of screen content, Eduardo Leal, said: “It was great to finally see tickets go on sale this morning for No Time To Die.

"As our customer research has informed us, there is clear demand to see big blockbusters on the big screen. We look forward to welcoming customers, particularly those we may not have seen in a while, to see the new Bond outing and enjoy the true escapism offered by the big screen.”

Carol Welch, Odeon's UK and Ireland managing director, said: "This is another significant milestone as the sector continues to recover strongly since reopening, again demonstrating an industry that has always proved resilient in the face of adversity.

"We have been really encouraged by the reaction of those returning to our cinemas."

No Time To Die will screen from midnight on 29th September.

The fifth and final appearance of Craig as the iconic MI6 agent sees Bond come out of retirement to help an old friend from the CIA. The plot will see 007 led onto the trail of a mysterious, masked villain known only as Safin - played by Rami Malek - who is armed with dangerous tech.

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