This Monday, advanced tickets went on sale for No Time to Die, the next installment in the James Bond franchise and Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007.
And in less than 48 hours, Mr. Bond’s final mission has been moved from April 10 to November 25.
Deadline broke the story today, with a statement from MGM, Universal, and the Bond producers:
MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of No Time to Die will be postponed until November 2020. The film will be released in the U.K. on November 12, 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the U.S. launch on November 25, 2020.
It’s a shocking move for a movie that comes out in less than a month, but it makes sense in light of the coronavirus.
Now, it might not be immediately clear how those two things are connected, but it comes down to how major blockbusters rely on international box office to be the mega-hits they are. From Deadline:
This is purely an economic decision we understand, and not one based on growing fears over the coronavirus. Bond is a day-and-date worldwide release, and with the franchise back in the hands of MGM fully post Sony’s distribution of the last four Daniel Craig movies, along with Universal, all parties involved need to have all foreign territories working at their maximum in order for the latest Bond to be a continued box office success. For a tentpole of this size and scope, that kind of decrease in business would have a significant and detrimental impact on the film’s ultimate global take.
In fact, Hollywood itself is bracing for heavy losses because of the coronavirus (understandably) driving down film attendance across the world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film industry stands to lose $5 billion due to a combination of Chinese theaters being closed, fears of the virus spreading in other major moviegoing countries (like South Korea, Italy, and Japan, Japan being the third-largest film market in the world), and the possibility of the virus spreading in the U.S.
For context, China has 70,000 theaters, and is the second-largest film market in the world. It has closed all of those theaters during the outbreak, and those closed theaters will probably add up to a potential $2 billion loss through the end of February alone, according to
The Hollywood Reporter.
This whole story puts all sorts of things up in the air. Will other studios move their movies to later this year as well? Just how much will major releases in March (like Disney’s Mulan) be affected if they keep their current release dates?
Who knows, but this is honestly one of the wildest delays I’ve ever heard of. It’s one thing to delay a movie for reshoots or to move away from competitive movies, it’s a whole other thing to try and dodge a pandemic.
Goddamn, 2020 is going to be a weird fucking year, huh?
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