One of the big movies that we were all looking forward to when this year got started was Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond in No Time to Die. Unfortunately, the movie saw a pair of significant delays that have now made one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 into one of the most anticipated movies of 2021. Certainly, fans hope that the new film will debut as it is currently scheduled now, but so does studio MGM, as it is reportedly costing the studio around $1 million every month the movie sits on the shelf.
Recently there were reports that MGM had opened talks with some of the major streaming services to at least consider shifting No Time to Die to one of those platforms. While nothing ended up coming of any of those negotiations, THR is reporting that one of the reasons that MGM may have been willing to move the newest James Bond movie to streaming in the first place is because the movie has become something of a financial albatross. MGM is allegedly accruing around $1 million in interest on money that was borrowed to make the movie, and that money can't be paid back until the film makes money.
And the fact is most studios are probably dealing with similar situations regarding all the unreleased movies that are out there. This is a side of Hollywood that most people usually don't see. The money to make movies has to come from somewhere and borrowing millions to do so, when you're expecting to see that money come back in box office receipts on opening weekend, isn't that surprising. Nobody was expecting a situation like this, where everything literally just stops.
Certainly, it's obvious these studios aren't making money as movies sit unreleased, but frequently, due to borrowing situations like this, it actually costs money as well. All that money goes to the film's bottom line, requiring it to make that much more in order to be successful, which is that much harder to do considering that entire theater chains are closed and those that are open simply couldn't fill the screening rooms, even if people were willing to go in mass numbers, which they are not.
Apple TV+ was reportedly willing to pay something in the $350-$400 million range to debut No Time to Die on the platform. However, MGM was apparently looking for a number closer to double that, and so, in the end, the movie is being held for a theatrical release after all.
Part of the reason MGM was looking for some big money was that the studio was expecting big money from the movie's box office. Spectre made $800 million and Skyfall broke $1 billion before that. The studio wants to see the profit they were expecting to get, but part of that is because the studio has bills to pay with that money.