Pent-up demand has been unleashed into theatres this weekend, boosting box office, as two of the biggest exclusive, theatre-only releases since the pandemic started have arrived in front of audiences. No Time To Die is released in the UK and Europe, with the US and China still to come. Venom: Let There Be Carnage has been released in the US.

We have been as guilty as many commentators, predicting audiences would be slow to return, or maybe they would never quite come back once the freedom and convenience of home streaming releases take hold. Whether this is initial exuberance or a sustainable trend still needs to be seen, but the signs are good at the box office.

After a nearly two-year delay and rumored to have turned down offers over $600 million to take the release to stream, trades say the gamble has paid off. A weekend total of $113 million with many of the biggest territories still to open gives it the largest total of the pandemic after only 4 days of release.

It is on track to beat Skyfall, the highest-grossing Bond so far, in the UK where it will take over $30 million in a single territory.

In the US, Venom is performing way above estimates at the box office. Sony had $40 million in mind for good performance over the weekend. It nearly hit that on Friday alone. Sony is now looking at a $70 million weekend haul with others looking higher.

Shang-Chi keeps churning, and also crossed the $200 million mark domestically this weekend.

The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark isn’t doing quite so well, seemingly lost in the noise of its shinier, blockbuster competition. It limped to a $5.3 million debut. The movie is very well-reviewed.

For our spoiler review and discussion for No Time To Die, click here.

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