Does new delay in Australasia signal no near-simultaneous worldwide release or that the film is about to be delayed again globally?
Update: it turns out the delay only applies to Australia.
With cinema currently in turmoil due to repeated delays of blockbuster films and underperformance of those that do release, all eyes have been on No Time to Die to see if the late September/October release date sticks.
A recent article by MI6-HQ argued that the forthcoming Bond film needs a $1 billion box office to break even thanks to the huge production budget, promotional costs and the additional spending each time the film has been delayed.
The Spy Command has argued the era of billion dollar box offices is over – for the time being at least – and that MGM may see that that delaying again won’t help them reach a billion anyway. With interest payments said to amount to $1 million per month they may see that they are better of getting what they can and hope that the deal with Amazon gets the green light.
It looks like the film has been delayed in Australia and New Zealand from 30th September to 11th November. Notably those two countries are currently in lockdown.
It is entirely possible that MGM is giving up on a simultaneous worldwide release to concentrate on its major markets. But the United States is currently in the grip of the delta variant of covid-19 with daily cases more than three times higher than this time in July. It is difficult to know when this wave will peak.
A recent poll by The Hollywood Report found consumer confidence has dropped because of the surge in cases due to delta. It’s not as low as it was last year but significantly below pre-pandemic levels.
In the UK it seemed like the current wave had peaked but cases are growing again. And according to a BBC report the UK box office remains at 50% of what it was before covid-19. On top of that, many epidemiologists expect further growth when kids go back to school in September with a return to restrictions.
As usual with this pandemic it’s hard to call.