James Bond has no time to die. Well, not until November, after the latest installment of the legendary action movie franchise was pushed amid concerns for the global coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
“After careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020,” the film’s official Twitter account announced this morning.
MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020. pic.twitter.com/a9h1RP5OKd
— James Bond (@007) March 4, 2020
As noted by the BBC, the announcement comes after open letters from two top-tier Bond fansites, which urged MGM Studios, Universal Pictures, and the flick’s other producers to postpone the flick’s appearance on screens worldwide.
One letter, published Monday, pointed out the potential for Covid-19 to be spread by attendees, who may not even be aware of their infection.
The move comes after France banned large public gatherings as a response to a growing number of Covid-19 infections. Italy has also placed bans on large-scale events as it deals with its own outbreak.
But the decision to postpone appears to be motivated by finances as much as public health.
China, the world’s second-largest market for movies, has seen countless cinemas close as a response to the viral outbreak. Variety reports the nation’s box office takings have crashed US$1.91 billion (AU$2.9 billion) over the last two months alone, and cinemas audiences are unlikely to return in large numbers in the near future.
Given the fact 2015’s Bond instalment Spectre notched a then-record US$48 million (AU$72 million) over its first weekend in Chinese cinemas, it makes sense producers would pump the brakes to wait for things to return to some kind of normalcy.
Worth noting that this is technically the second time No Time To Die has been pushed back, after a director swap meant the film missed its original October 2019 release date.
Mark November 2020 on your calendars, then. To tide you over, we recommend rewatching the trailer and fabricating your own plot points to pass the time.