Bond heats up cinemasWednesday, October 13, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
No Time to Die, the latest in the James Bond series, opened in Jamaican theatres last Friday — eight days after its United Kingdom premiere. Melanie Graham, marketing manager/director of Palace Amusement Company, the island's sole motion picture distributor, is encouraged by the reception.
“It's doing well. There's always been a lot of interest in Bond... The cast and crew were here and a lot of people got to meet them. Bond's home is Jamaica,” Graham told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“We hope that it lasts. The longevity of a movie is what counts. I mean it can do well in the first couple of days and then peter out quickly after that. But if it has any staying power, then that's the important part,” she continued.
Palace Amusement Company operates four cinemas – Carib 5 and Palace Cineplex in Kingston; Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay; and Sunshine Palace in St Catherine.
No Time to Die's production launch took place at GoldenEye, St Mary, in April 2019.
With a cost of US$200 million to produce, the film is the 25th instalment in the Bond franchise and is co-produced by MGM and EON.
Directed by American Cary Joji Fukunaga, it stars Daniel Craig in his final role as Agent 007. Several scenes were shot on location in Portland and Kingston.
Two of the English actresses in No Time to Die have Jamaican heritage: Naomie Harris's mother is Jamaican while both Lashana Lynch's parents were born on the island. This is Harris's third outing in a Bond movie.
Other members of the cast are Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, and Billy Magnussen.
James Bond and Jamaica are inextricably linked. British author Ian Fleming, creator of the super spy, resided at GoldenEye for many years, where he wrote all of his James Bond novels. GoldenEye is also the name of the 17th film in the series and was released in 1995. Pierce Brosnan starred in that role as the super spy.
The first Bond film Dr No (1962), and Live And Let Die (1973) were both shot mainly in Kingston. Jamaican actors, including the late Reggie Carter, Marguerite Lewars, and Grace Jones have appeared in Bond flicks.
Initially given a release date of April 2020, No Time to Die's premiere was postponed due to COVID-19. Last weekend, it made US$56 million at the US box office and US$300 million globally.