The one mission that James Bond can’t seem to accomplish is landing his release date amid the global pandemic. NO TIME TO DIE was supposed to hit screens in April of this year before becoming the first major release to shift off of its release date once it became clear that COVID-19 was crippling the industry. Its new November date seemed like a sure thing, especially since a lot of us naively things would be back to normal by then. Sadly, as the months progressed, it became clear that the pandemic was not slowing down, and releasing tentpole releases in this climate would not be an easy task. The latest 007 entry then moved to April 2021 and even though vaccines are on the horizon, the film’s financial backers fear the film will be delayed again because its target audience may not be ready to hit the theaters in mass groups to see Daniel Craig’s final turn as Bond.
Hollywood trade has revealed a report, via “Variety“, that addresses the claims of the film’s financial backers about why they think the movie will suffer another delay. James Bond films tend to cater to an older demographic and they believe that a substantial amount of fans of the franchise will not make the trip to the theater because of the current circumstances. The financial backers also don’t want No Time To Die to be the first blockbuster out the gate to test the waters in 2021. Even with a vaccine on the way, the logistics of the roll-out need to be figured out and that also takes time.
Warner Bros. made big news yesterday with their release plan for their 17 films to be released in 2021 which will see the titles debut on the HBO Max streaming service and theaters on the same day. A streaming acquisition was flirted with for No Time To Die but the studio wanted a hefty price tag to sell it off and there was a bit of reluctance to even go that route because the film has the potential to be a billion-dollar worldwide earner once we begin to see a bit of normalcy. Investors don’t want to miss out on the revenue that would come from a theatrical release and that’s why another delay could also be in the cards.
Director Cary Fukunaga did think another delay could happen after the film’s most recent release date shift. The director said at the time that “I think there’s always the potential of another delay. I look at it unemotionally right now…There are many bigger things happening. I have friends who are losing businesses, restaurants, and other friends who have lost family members…The film will come out when it’s right and it will perform in the context of this new world, in which no one really can define what success or failure means.”
Delaying No Time To Die does come with a hefty price tag for MGM. Loans taken out by the studio in order to make the movie cost them $1 million in interest every month. All of the ongoing delays mean that interest is rapidly climbing each month and it will not be paid off until the film finally hits screens. Bond is their big financial windfall and I understand why they didn’t necessarily want to sell it off into streaming but if this continues, exactly how long can they wait to release the film before they start to see a significant loss?
Do YOU think No Time To Die will be delayed again? As of now, the film hits screens on April 2, 2021.