MGM’s No Time to Die is officially heading to April 2, 2021, Easter weekend, and vacating its Nov. 20 release date.
“MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of No Time To Die, the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until 2 April in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience. We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing No Time To Die next year,” said the studio in a statement. MGM was the first studio to foresee how the pandemic was going to stall exhibition, and jumped No Time to Die from its Easter weekend release date of April 10-12 to the Thanksgiving frame.
No Time to Die stands to make $1 billion worldwide. Given that, it makes sense to release what is expected to be Daniel Craig’s final Bond film in an optimum, vibrant global marketplace.
The decision comes at a time when the pandemic has gripped, not only New York City theaters (which it’s still unclear when they reopen), and Los Angeles (which could get the go-head to open in a couple of weeks), but also the United Kingdom, a prime 007 market that traditionally opens prior to domestic and grossed $125M on the last film Spectre and over $161M on 2012’s Skyfall. UK faces a possible lockdown, and that’s bad for Bond. This despite the fact that business is back to normal at the China box office.
While it’s good news for exhibition that MGM is keeping this a theatrical release, it’s horrible news in the short-term. Exhibition was banking on this movie, a notable IP versus Christopher Nolan’s original Tenet, and it would not be shocking to hear that some hardcore attrition in the exhibition space will take place. Still TBD on Disney’s Soul on Nov. 20. Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Croods: A New Age is sticking to its Nov. 25, Wednesday before Thanksgiving date.
God, hopefully, we’ll have a Christmas box office season with Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune.
Another monkeywrench here for No Time to Die is the movie’s promotional partners which are moving for a second time. Omega Watches, Adidas, Swatch and Heineken have all started their promotions. Typically when movies jump release dates, there are penalties incurred by the studio. Why? The advertiser has racked up shipping and product design costs, and such ad elements are on a schedule. It essentially becomes a negotiation between the studio and the brand as they all want to remain in business with each other down the road. Sometimes, a decision is made to simply allow the product that’s been shipped to be out there, and products remain part of the movie’s pre-awareness.
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