'No Time To Die' Might Be Releasing Summer 2021

Image credit: MGM & Universal Studios

MGM and Universal are reportedly considering a summer 2021 release for the latest Bond film, No Time to Die. The fifth film to feature Daniel Craig as the iconic MI6 agent, it was initially slated to be released last April. However, the initial onset of the pandemic compelled the studios to delay the theatrical release by seven months, slating it for a November release date. With the world being as it is right now, it is possible that November could still be too soon to release a big film such as this.

The US pandemic numbers are not declining, nor are they under any semblance of control. States such as New York, Texas, and California are each seeing an increase in cases and deaths at the time of this article, thus further exacerbating the uncertainty with which we are faced. Understandably, studios would need to plan for the safety of the audience members.

For Your Eyes Only 

The mission brief from MI6-HQ.com states that while the studios are seriously considering a delay, nothing is official at this time, though a final decision is forthcoming. For now, the marketing campaign for the James Bond film also remains on hold. 

Though this may be frustrating for fans of the franchise, this really is best for the world’s most famous spy. The film has already lost money due to the initial delay from April. These losses were considered significant because No Time to Die was the most expensive Bond film to date. By delaying the release of the movie to 2021, when pandemic will presumably be more under control and theaters are more open, the studios stand a better chance of making more money, perhaps even a profit. After all, when movies get made, people need to get paid.

There are some who would prefer to just have these big movies released on some sort of service so that they may watch them from the comfort of their own home during these unpredictable times. However, tentpole films such as No Time to Die will not be released by such means as on-demand. Those distributions models have been working well for smaller budget films. Overall, though, the studios are not entirely enamored with on-demand or virtual releases being the solution to pandemic-induced issues. 

Theater Spotrep

The studios would need to take into account the circumstances regarding movie theaters, the prime locations in which viewers have typically experienced these blockbusters once released. Movie theaters themselves may not open until sometime in 2021. Conservatively, industry analysts are predicting that theaters will remain closed until mid-2021. Studios are understandably unwilling to release many of their movies into capacity-capped theaters until that time. 

Noted media analyst Doug Cruetz stated that we should expect domestic theaters to be closed until mid-2021. His rationale is that studios will not be interested in releasing their larger budget movies into capacity-constrained theaters. While his recommendation is unofficial, the logic is sound. Studios want the highest possible gross. Hollywood is, after all, a business. 

Studio Sitrep

Alongside No Time to Die, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s Mulan have both been delayed numerous times. Tenet was pushed back to a late August release. Mulan’s release was set to follow soon afterward. However, both dates are now once again in doubt. It would not be very surprising if these films were delayed once again.

Studios are collaborating on their release dates. If Freestyle Releasing moves the release of its drama 2 Hearts from September 11, Warner Bros. or Disney could move a film of their own into that slot. More to come as this situation unfolds.