One of the first big blockbuster movies of 2020 to push its release date was the next James Bond film, No Time to Die. The movie made the decision to hold off on release even before the pandemic made its way to the United States, because the Bond franchise is even more dependent than others on international box office success. Since then the movie has seen two more significant delays. It's now set to come out this fall, and despite the fact that other major films are seeing, or considering, even more delays, No Time To Die may be coming out this year because it simply can't afford not to.
No Time to Die has been sitting on the shelf for more than a year. It's now set to begin its global roll out at the end of September, hitting the U.S. in October, and it seems that, whatever the conditions on the ground theatrically speaking, the movie may get released because it's costing MGM millions of dollars every time the movie gets delayed.
As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to plague the world THR reports that many studios are rethinking the film releases they had previously planned for this fall. Movies like Venom: Let There Be Carnage have already been pushed back, though only by a couple weeks, while others, like Clifford: The Big Red Dog have seen their releases pulled entirely.
The point of delaying, quite obviously, is to wait for a time when the box office will be in better shape, when more people are willing to go to movie, so the film can make the most money possible. But when films get delayed it costs money, especially in marketing, as the film will now need to spend money promoting itself and its new release date. This means the movie will now need to make even more money in order to be profitable for the studio. At some point the studio is going to need to see income from a film rather than simply expenditure. At some point the costs will reach a point that the movie won't possibly be able to make enough to be profitable.
MGM is going to need to seriously weigh all the factors involved if the studio considers holding No Time To Die again. And there are many other factors that may need to be considered. The studio is currently involved in a deal to be acquired by Amazon and so the studio's financial state is quite important. The people who stand to make money from the acquisition would stand to make less if No Time To Die's costs make the studio look less successful.
If there's anything this pandemic has taught us it's that things can change quickly and that trying to predict what's going to happen is just short of impossible. In a month maybe things will be better, or perhaps not, and a delay will be all but necessary. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
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