For a film titled, “No Time To Die,” it shouldn’t be all that shocking that timing is of the essence. You see, the 25th film in the James Bond catalog not only marks the first film in the franchise in 5 years but also the final film in Daniel Craig’s run as 007. This is a film that really needs to do well at the box office. And for that reason, it appears that the right time for “No Time To Die” isn’t in April, instead, it’s November.
According to a report from Deadline, Universal, MGM, and producers has decided to move the release of “No Time To Die” from its April window all the way until November 25, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Yep, take a moment to let that sink in. Just weeks before the film was going to release worldwide, one of the biggest films of the year is going to be delayed by almost 7 months. Why? You can probably guess—coronavirus.
The studio is worried about how coronavirus has been wreaking havoc on the film industry since it became an issue weeks ago. In that time, people have been infected all over the world, with thousands already dead. The outbreak is so bad in China that the entire cinema industry has been closed for weeks already, with no apparent end in sight. The studio is betting (hoping) that, by November, everything will be back to normal and “No Time to Die” can have the triumphant worldwide debut it was poised to have in April.
“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,” a statement from producers reads.
Taking “No Time To Die” out of the discussion for a brief moment, we should really talk about a potential ripple effect we might see in the wake of the delay. The Bond film was originally set to debut less than a month from now, but it isn’t the only major film on the horizon. Remember, a major reason that “No Time To Die” is being delayed is the aforementioned Chinese box office. There is now a huge backlog of films that are going to fight to be released immediately upon the reopening of cinemas. And if we are still a month, or more, away from that happening, what happens when May 1 rolls around and Marvel Studios wants to release “Black Widow?” What about animated films such as “Scoob,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” and “Trolls: World Tour?” These are all films that really want international money, particularly that massive bank in China.
And if this coronavirus outbreak only gets worse, leading to American theater chains beginning to see audiences stay at home, “F9,” “Artemis Fowl,” and “Wonder Woman 1984” from following “No Time To Die’s” lead and delaying release. All three of those films are being released on or before June 5. And all of them, especially “F9,” rely heavily on Chinese money.
Needless to say, the first domino has toppled over with “No Time To Die” moving to November 25. Is this just the beginning of a bigger trend? We’ll have to wait and see.