Where No Time to Die went wrong financially

Danny Boyle

Spoilers for those who haven’t seen No Time to Time.

Hindsight, the saying goes, is always 20-20. For No Time to Die, the major financial misstep was when Danny Boyle came aboard as director.

That’s not because Boyle is a bad filmmaker — far from it. Rather, Boyle was hired (along with his preferred screenwriter John Hodge) and the duo would be at odds with Eon Productions.

Eon had spent much of 2017 developing a script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Then, sometime in 2018, the Boyle-Hodge team pitched an idea that Eon Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio, fell in love with.

By May 2018, Eon and MGM announced that Bond 25 would be directed by Boyle and written by Hodge. Over the next few months, a large rocket model would be constructed as well as a Russian gulag set built in Canada.

Those details would be disclosed by Mark Tildesley, the project’s production designer, in a spring 2020 video interview. Tildesley was recruited to the project by Boyle.

However, by August 2018, Boyle was out because of “creative differences.”

So much for all that set construction. Welcome back, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. We have a new director (Cary Fukunaga) for you to work with.

Now that the movie is out, the source of the creative differences is out. Eon (and Daniel Craig) wanted one thing for the ending while Boyle wanted something else.

The MI6 James Bond website, on the Oct. 9 edition of its James Bond and Friends podcast said the following about the movie’s ending:

“We’ve heard it from multiple, well-connected sources that it was Craig’s stipulation to do the film.”

As a result of all this, No Time to Die ended up costing (at least) one-and-a-half movies. But it only has *one* revenue stream. There was a lot of unnecessary spending and a lack of financial discipline.

No Time to Die’s global box office exceeds $525 million. That makes it one of the most popular movies in the post-COVID-19 era. But it’s not at a pace to turn a profit in its theatrical release, including production costs approaching $300 million.

In hindsight (that word again), le affaire de Boyle was a detour that added to the costs and didn’t add much to the final product.

So it goes.

2 Responses

  1. L’affaire – apart from that you’re spot on. Just skip on the namedropping, always sounds that bit too hungry for recognition.

  2. I would say it went wrong financially by going with Danny Boyle which eventually caused it to be delayed until February 2020. if they had originally gone with Cary Fukunaga The movie would’ve come out in November 2019 before Covid and would probably have made between 700-900 900 million. The Danny Boyle detour cost them quite a lot of money because of that long delay.

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