Bond 25 questions: The VOD edition

No Time to Die poster

No Time to Die, in the U.S., at least, becomes available in video on demand (VOD) starting Nov. 9, a little more than a month after its U.S. release.

Gadzooks. That seems awfully fast. Naturally, the blog has questions.

What prompted this?

We don’t really know. Online ads about the VOD debut appeared on social media on Friday. The Screen Rant entertainment news site picked up on that and did a story. United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures, which is handling U.S. distribution of No Time to Die, confirmed the news.

More generally, the amount of time that movie theaters have the exclusive right to show movies, is coming down. But, with No Time to Die, people thought the time period would be 45 days. Perhaps even more. In the U.S., it’s not playing out that way.

Is this good news or bad news?

For people still hesitant to return to movie theaters because of COVID-19, it’s good news. They’re getting to see the movie sooner than they expected.

For the studios involved, especially MGM, Bond’s home studio, it’s not good. They were probably hoping for a higher U.S. theatrical box office before the movie went to VOD.

Where, and for what price, will No Time to Die be available on VOD?

We don’t know a whole lot more yet. Amazon Prime this weekend is telecasting a five-minute preview of No Time to Die. (h/t MI6 James Bond website). Presumably, there will be other outlets. We’ll know more over the next few days.

UPDATE: MGM confirmed the price will be $19.99 for 48-hour rental on major platforms.

What else does this move indicate?

The move reinforces how No Time to Die, in the U.S., has lagged other markets, at least on a per capita basis. The U.S. accounts for between 20 percent to 25 percent of a Bond movie’s global box office. So far, with No Time to Die, the U.S. box office is about 22 percent of the global take.

Will No Time to Die disappear from U.S. theaters now?

Not necessarily. With 2015’s SPECTRE, the film continued to play at some theaters even after going to home video. However, it is possible the move to VOD will cause fewer screens to be available for No Time to Die.

Any other thoughts?

It’s a reminder that changes in the movie business — brought on by the rise of streaming and other factors — are accelerating.