James Bond is in a tricky situation, though not the kind he normally finds himself in. The superspy’s latest adventure, No Time To Die, has been hit with several delays. This isn’t a surprising thing to hear these days. But MGM was one of the first studios to delay a major release out of concern over COVID-19. The film’s original US release date was in April before it moved to November 25th and then, strangely, moved up five days. Earlier this month, it received another delay to April 2nd, 2021.
Many other film studios have sold theatrical releases to streaming platforms rather than wait for a time when theaters will be safe to visit again. And according to a Bloomberg report earlier this week, MGM was exploring this possibility with services like Netflix and Apple TV+. But as it turns out, No Time to Die is a bit too expensive for anyone to bite. Both Deadline and Variety are reporting that MGM offered the film for $600 million. This high price tag caused the discussions to die pretty quickly. Deadline also states that franchise producer Barbara Broccoli “nixed the deal” but that the process was an exploration. In the Variety report, an MGM spokesperson had this to say on No Time to Die:
We do not comment on rumors. The film is not for sale. The film’s release has been postponed until April 2021 in order to preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers.”
Despite the spokesperson’s quote, multiple reports citing insiders point to this being true. However, the James Bond franchise is clearly MGM’s highest earner. So it makes sense that exploratory discussions would die quickly if the studio couldn’t get the price it wanted for No Time to Die. But there are other factors to consider too. Variety lists the film’s budget at over $250 million and that MGM has already lost between $30 and $50 million from the delays. The franchise also frequently utilizes promotional partnerships with the likes of Heineken and Omega watches. Any change in release plans would likely include those companies in the discussion so they could ensure they recoup their financial input.
What are your thoughts on this situation? Do you think MGM should’ve tried to offer it cheaper? Let me know in the comments below!