Still from No Time to Die showing Bond and a co-star at a bar

‘Shang-Chi’ Alone Can’t Save Movie Theaters — Will Venom and Bond Deliver Heroic Numbers?

James Bond and Venom are swooping in to save the day for struggling movie theaters. At least, that's what theater owners are hoping. Can these two Hollywood powerhouses actually turn the tide for struggling theater chains?
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The past year and a half have not been kind to the box office. Sure-thing tentpole events like Black Widow and Mortal Kombat failed to hit the astronomical highs of films like 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Carnage attacks a prison guard in a still from the upcoming Venom film
Sony | Columbia Pictures | Marvel Entertainment

The cumulative effects of months of lockdown and many films debuting straight to streaming services at the same time they hit movie theaters took a toll on the box office throughout the first half of 2021. However, things do appear to be getting better for traditional movie theaters: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the latest Marvel movie, shattered Labor Day box office records.

Two more major tentpole releases are coming in the next few weeks. The newest Bond film, No Time to Die, will be Daniel Craig’s final outing as the legendary MI6 agent. Meanwhile, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will see Tom Hardy returning to the wild world of Eddie Brock and his pal, the deadly symbiote Venom.

But will these films be enough to save the struggling box office–or will they spell doom for the theatrical premiere as we know it? Considering what they have in common, it’s hard to be optimistic.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

First up, the Venom sequel will hit the big screen on October 1. This film has been delayed significantly. Believe it or not, it actually wrapped filming back in February of 2020. That’s over a year and a half ago! The post-production process was extended thanks to lockdown measures, however, and Sony then held onto the film for several months to wait for a more opportune time to release it in theaters.

Sony is notoriously hesitant to embrace streaming. The company doesn’t have a platform of its own like Disney and Warner Bros. do, so it’s extremely difficult to find Sony films on streaming services. As such, Venom was never going to see a simultaneous streaming and theater release.

No Time to Die

No Time to Die has also been delayed a lot. The film, astonishingly, was supposed to come out in November of 2019. Let that sink in for a second! The film has been sitting on the shelf for almost two years now. It’ll finally premiere a week after another late-arrival, Venom, hitting theaters on October 8.

This latest Bond film will be Daniel Craig’s final outing in the title role. He has previously spoken about the grueling nature of filming the action-heavy titles, stating that it’s tough on his body to keep up with the production schedule. However, he has also lauded the role as being “once in a lifetime.” For many fans, his Bond is definitive, so seeing him go is bittersweet.

Read More: James Bond’s Best and Worst: All 24 Films Ranked

Back to the Movies

Hollywood and cinema locations around the world alike are hoping that the barrage of A-list films hitting this fall will finally convince moviegoers to get out and buy tickets. With the latest wave of films skipping the simultaneous streaming release, and Marvel proving that movies can still make money with a theatrical release, theaters are hopeful that the worst is over.

Is it time to get back to the movies? Sony and MGM certainly hope so.