The latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, was meant to be released in April. Amid coronavirus fears, the 25th 007 will now be delayed until November.
In a statement, MGM, Eon and Universal say the decision was made “after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace”.
The move comes after fears that coronavirus could impact the global box office by as much as $5 billion. There had been cinema closures in Italy, South Korea, China and Japan. The James Bond franchise is traditionally buoyed by international markets, with the last four films all making over 70 percent of their gross revenue outside of America.
The film will now be released in the U.S. on November 25, 2020, and internationally starting on November 12. Universal is handling the international rollout.
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. pic.twitter.com/a9h1RP5OKd
— James Bond (@007) March 4, 2020
Although the delayed release date of the latest James Bond is meant to protect the film from a small box office return, its new date comes with its own challenges. No Time to Die will now open at the same times as Godzilla vs. Kong and Raya and the Last Dragon, two major films from Warner Bros. and Disney respectively.
A November release date might make more sense, argue some critics.
“November has been the traditional home for Bond in the modern era so it makes total sense to move ‘No Time To Die’ to that new date,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said, “And it’s certainly in the best interest of the movie, given the current situation, to get creative and do what needs to be done to ensure the best outcome for the film and for the fans who will just have to wait a bit longer to get a hold of James Bond.”
No Time to Die cost a reported $200 million to make and has been beset with problems during production, including a late-in-the-day departure from original director Danny Boyle and a serious ankle injury for Daniel Craig. The movie was originally set for a November 2019 release date, which was then moved to February 2020 and then again to April.
The James Bond film is the first major flick to change its release date owing to coronavirus concerns, but its expected that it won’t be the last. Disney’s Mulan, due to be released in late March, has long been expected to perform well in China; however, if theater closures continue, its tally at the box office could take a hit.
Disney has not said the movie’s March release in China has been altered, but many are bracing for the announcement. The company’s biggest worry is that the film will be pirated over the internet, putting a dent in potential ticket sales.
Another hit the film industry may weather is related to shooting on location. U.S. film companies could begin to halt production of movies being shot internationally. Already, Paramount Pictures has halted production of Mission: Impossible VII in Italy. Sony Pictures has temporarily shuttered its offices in London, Paris and Poland due to coronavirus fears.