MGM provides a financial update

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer put out its third-quarter financial report today, including a version on its website. The company reported a quarterly loss of $18.1 million, an improvement from a deficit of $436.2 million in the year-earlier period.

There was not a lot about in the report concerning the delayed No Time to Die. But there were a few nuggets.

A few examples:

In March 2020 and again in October 2020, we announced our decision to delay the worldwide theatrical release of No Time To Die, the 25th installment in the James Bond franchise, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to prevent its spread, including, among other things, the closure of theaters. We originally moved the release date from April 2020 to November 2020, and then to April 2021 after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace and the significant downturn of business in key markets. In addition, we moved the release date for Respect from January 2021 to August 2021. We believe that delaying the theatrical release will best position these films for success worldwide, although we will incur higher marketing costs as a result of the moves.

MGM had this comment which wasn’t specific to No Time to Die.

The commercial potential of feature film or television content varies dramatically and is not directly correlated with the cost to produce or acquire the content. Therefore, it can be difficult to predict or project a trend of our income or loss. However, the likelihood that we will report losses for the quarter or year in which we release a feature film is increased by the industry’s accounting standards that require theatrical advertising and other releasing costs to be expensed in the period in which they are incurred while revenue for the feature film is recognized over a much longer period of time. We may report such losses even for periods in which we release films that will ultimately be profitable for us.

Meanwhile, in the footnotes, there is this passage that is related to No Time to Die.

In 2021, non-recurring costs are expected to include the EBITDA impact of sunk P&A costs for No Time To Die that will be incurred again in the future due to the delayed theatrical release date resulting from the global closure of theaters.

EBITDA means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and depreciation. P&A refers to prints and advertising.

Last month, there were multiple news reports that MGM was considering leasing No Time to Die to streaming services, including Apple Inc.’s Apple Plus.