Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter have revealed that MGM, the studio behind the latest Bond film No Time To Die, could take a $30 million to $50 million hit over its decision to push back the release of the movie by seven months from its original April release date to November over coronavirus fears.
The film’s marketing was already in full swing as there were only four weeks to go before the original release date. This includes a reported $4.5 million Super Bowl spot that ran in February. But the alternative may have been costlier for the studio as the coronavirus outbreak has caused a panic among some of the film’s most important markets.
In China alone, some 70,000 theaters have been closed since January, with no plans to reopen anytime soon. The most recent Bond entry, Spectre, made $84 million in the country, which equals out to about 10 percent of its $881 million worldwide haul. Even the U.K., where the character originated, is fearing theater closures, and Spectre brought in over $120 million there alone.
Sources say the studio’s decision to move No Time to Die to November 12th in the U.K. and November 25th in North America came from looking at these various factors and weighing the pros and cons. Industry experts projected a more than 30 percent loss off the final box office numbers had it stuck with its April date, basically $300 million out of what could have been a billion globally.
March 31st in London was the intended world premiere, but that’s been postponed. Not all of the promotional material is haunted, though, as Daniel Craig is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. THR reports that MGM is in the middle of attempting to salvage ad buys it already had made for the next few weeks and move them to the fall.
“They obviously are doing the right thing by putting the public safety, world safety, first,” No Time to Die producer Barbara Broccoli told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week.
At the time of reporting, no other studios have followed MGM’s lead by postponing any major releases, although the industry has been impacted, most notably with the cancellation of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
No Time To Die stars Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw (Q), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) and Christoph Waltz (Blofeld), while new additions include Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Billy Magnussen (Velvet Buzzsaw), Dali Benssalah (A Faithful Man) and David Dencik (Top of the Lake).