MGM’s NTTD shift may cost $30M-$50M, THR says

New No Time to Die poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer may take a hit of $30 million to $50 million by moving No Time to Die’s release date, The Hollywood Reporter said. But not moving the date could have cost more, the outlet said, citing people it didn’t identify.

MGM, James Bond’s home studio, Eon Productions and Universal (the international distributor) said this week the 25th James Bond film is being moved to November from April.

THR said MGM “fully financed” No Time to Time, which has an estimated production budget of $250 million.

The entertainment news outlet said had MGM stuck with the April release, that would have been more costly because of markets where theaters were shut down because of the coronavirus.

Theaters in China, Japan and Italy have been closed. “That could have resulted in a minimum of 30 percent shaved off the final box-office tallies — a possible $300 million out of a likely $1 billion haul at the worldwide box office,” THR said.

Earlier this week, the MI6 James Bond website and The James Bond Dossier urged MGM, Universal and Eon Productions to delay the release because of health hazards stemming from the coronavirus. The open letter was published March 2 and the decision to delay was announced March 4.

The open letter, besides citing the health risks, said No Time to Die faced lower box office prospects because of efforts to combat coronavirus.

“Of the countries with large public gatherings banned or restricted, their combined ‘SPECTRE’ box-office was $313m, or 38% of the global haul,” the open letter said. SPECTRE, released in 2015, was the most recent Bond film.

No Time to Die dates, figures to keep in mind

No Time to Die poster

With a change in No Time to Die’s release schedule, certain dates and figures take on new importance. Here’s a look at a few.

March/April 2020: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, James Bond’s home studio, often reports fourth-quarter and year-end financial results in March or, as in the case of the Q4 2018 results, in April 2019. A call with investors is held the same day.

Under the old No Time to Die release schedule, the investor call likely would have been a bit of a victory lap. Executives probably would have cited the (now-canceled) March 31 world premiere in London, said the film would be/already was a big hit, etc.

Now, the investor call may take on a different tone. Presumably, executives will at least acknowledge the release date change because of the coronavirus. Perhaps investors will have some questions. The latter isn’t guaranteed. On some calls, there’s barely a peep from investors. On some calls, they have questions.

Countdowns: Some Bond fans have maintained countdowns until No Time to Die’s release. Unfortunately, they had to recalculate after this week’s announcement about the release date change.

Just to be clear, I am really expressing sympathy and not being snarky. I see these on my Twitter feed. It’s a service for fans and acts as a daily reminder.

On the morning of March 4, the countdown at @bondmovies on Twitter was 26 days.  A few hours later, it had to be changed to 252 days. All I can say is hang in there those of you who are maintaining such countdowns.

13 Days: That’s the difference between the new Nov. 12 U.K. release for No Time to Die compared with its Nov. 25 U.S. release. Under the old April plan, there would have been an 8-day difference.

Nov. 25 is a Wednesday and the day before Thanksgiving, a major U.S. holiday. Essentially, the movie is now being tied to that holiday in the U.S., when a lot of people are off from work and school. Still, U.S. Bond fans aren’t likely to be happy with the longer wait.