bond, james bond
Ken Hoffman shakes and stirs up some James Bond trivia for the most in-the-know fans
No Time To Die raked in $60 million during its opening weekend in the U.S., and more than $300 million since debuting worldwide two weeks ago, making it the 4th-largest opening for a James Bond movie in the 26-film, 60-year-old history of the franchise.
The film, Daniel Craig’s last go as 007, was supposed to open in April 2020, but was delayed at least two times due to the pandemic. Still, $300 million is better great than never.
Like Mighty Mouse with a license to kill, James Bond is here to save the day for the movie industry. No Time To Die had the biggest box office open of any movie during the 2020-21 global shutdown and just may get people back into movie theaters, you know, like before the world masked up and stayed home.
Unlike other recent blockbusters like Black Widow, which debuted simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services, the only way for fans to see No Time To Die is to get in their cars, buy tickets, a giant box of popcorn, and 55-gallon drum of Coke and sit in a theater – like you’re supposed to watch a movie.
It's hard to find a movie complex in Houston that isn't showing No Time To Die. But still, you might want to buy reserve tickets online in advance.
A little trivia
Six actors have portrayed James Bond onscreen since Dr. No was released in 1962: George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery, and Daniel Craig.
So, which actor played 007 the most times? Answer at bottom.
Way back in March 2020, VisitBritain, the official tourism agency of Great Britain, invited a group of distinguished journalists (and a couple not so distinguished) to England to visit James Bond sites. The idea was to drum up publicity for No Time To Die and spur tourists to visit Bond’s homeland.
It turned out to be one weird visit, at least the timing. I left Bush-Intercontinental Airport scrunched on a packed, overbooked plane and returned seven days later on a jumbo jet with only 12 passengers and an overwhelming, eye-watering scent of Lysol. That’s how fast COVID turned the world upside down last year.
More trivia: Which Bond movie is the biggest box office success? See below.
We stopped by the Old War Office in Whitehall that once housed Britain’s Naval Intelligence Service, where author Ian Fleming worked and was inspired to write his James Bond novels.
By the way, No Time To Die is not based on a Fleming spy novel. It’s from an original script and one of the screenwriters is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, making her first female to work on a Bond script since Johanna Harwood co-wrote Dr. No and From Russia with Love in the ’60s. (You know Waller-Bridge from her hysterical streaming series, Fleabag, for which she and the show nabbed three Emmys.)
I took a boat ride on the Thames and got a golf lesson in Stoke Park, the course where Bond played a round of golf against Auric Goldfinger in 1964.
We visited the Aston Martin factory, Windsor Castle, the James Bond Experience at The Distillery, and the London Film Museum, where most of 007’s supercharged cars are on display in an exhibit called Bond in Motion.
More trivia: Only one James Bond theme song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Name the song and singer. (Scroll for the answer.)
VisitBritain just contacted me to spread the word that, as of last week, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens can visit the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) without a quarantine requirement or proof of a negative COVID test. U.S. visitors only will have to complete a passenger locator form and take a COVID test within two days of their arrival.
Hotels and restaurants, including those with Bond connections like Dukes London, The Beaumont, St. Ermin’s Hotel, and St. James Hotel and Club, are open for business with no limits on capacity. Some settings, like public transportation still require masks, so please, don’t be a Karen. Mask up – don’t embarrass America on Youtube.
1. Roger Moore played 007 in seven James Bond movies: Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only,Octopussy, and A View to a Kill.
2. The highest-grossing James Bond movie is Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig. It took in more than $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide.
3. "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran (a favorite of my Gen X editor) is the only Bond theme song to top the Billboard singles chart.