In March 2020, when it was announced that the 25th James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” would be delayed from April until November, due to the pandemic, no one really thought it would have to be moved again. Then, last year, it was shifted from November 2020 to this April. And now, months before its third different release date, “No Time to Die” is moving again. Hopefully, there are, uh, no other times the film will move after this.
According to the official Twitter account (see below), MGM is moving “No Time to Die” from its April 2 date to October 8. This marks the latest blockbuster film to move out of spring 2021 to the fall, after the recent announcement that Sony’s “Morbius” would be heading out of March and into October. But for the film industry, the fact that Bond is out of April means there will be some major ripple effects that will be felt over the days to come.
There’s no doubt that MGM believes “No Time to Die” is a billion-dollar film. And because of that, the studio is in no position to risk losing money on the feature. It’s the final film in the franchise for star Daniel Craig, and it carries added pressure because of the Bond series’ uncertain future. And if/when it arrives this fall, it will have been delayed more than 18 months from its original release, proving just how careful everyone associated with the film is regarding the franchise.
So, what does this mean for the rest of the 2021 slate? Well, this basically means that most major films that haven’t already moved from March are most assuredly going to before long. And now, we have to start looking at April and May and the films that are expected to be released then, including “Black Widow” and “F9.” Both of those films, much like “No Time to Die,” are expected to earn more than $1 billion in a normal time. However, unlike MGM, Universal (“F9”) and Marvel Studios/Disney (“Black Widow”) have streaming alternatives that could make for some interesting decisions. In the case of Marvel Studios, how long is the company willing to hold off its deluge of films before streaming becomes the only option?
Needless to say, the release date change for “No Time to Die” is expected to cause a domino effect that could once again send the theatrical release industry in a tailspin for 2021. Hopefully, that COVID vaccine gets spread quicker than everyone is anticipating, huh? PS, the people that are taking this news the worst? Probably Sony and their just moved “Morbius” superhero film. Yep, they had October 8 set as their release date too, but one wonders how long that’s going to last.