Latest James Bond movie, ‘No Time To Die’ has been delayed yet again from hitting the cinemas until 2021, in what Hollywood has described as a fresh blow.
The delay stems from the after effects of the Coronavirus, as the film which is delayed for the second time, is almost a year behind schedule.
MGM, Universal and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli revealed in a statement Friday that “No Time To Die”— the 25th film in the James Bond series— will be delayed until April 2, 2021 “in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.”
“We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing No Time To Die next year,” they added.
James Bond is not the first of many popular movie themes to be delayed in one way or another, as more than twelve major movies, including “Black Widow,” “Tenet” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” have either been delayed or skipped theaters altogether and gone digital, a recent example being Disney’s “Mulan.”
The new chapter in the lucrative Bond series, which has raked in nearly $5 billion worldwide, was the first major film to be delayed because of the pandemic. It was due to hit US theaters on April 10, but in March its release was pushed back to November 25.
The decision to postpone the film a second time was necessitated as the coronavirus continues to rage across the United States and a second wave of infections also threatens Europe’s fragile recovery.
Covid19 has wormed it’s way deep into the system— even the Presidency. US President Donald Trump now has Covid-19, as do several senior White House aides, introducing even more uncertainty into the upcoming election and discussions about more economic stimulus from Washington.
The Motion Picture Association and other industry groups last week pushed for Congress to prioritize financial assistance for movie theaters.
“If the status quo continues, 69% of small and mid-sized movie theater companies will be forced to file for bankruptcy or to close permanently, and 66% of theater jobs will be lost,” they said in a letter signed by several Hollywood greats, including James Cameron, Guy Ritchie and Martin Scorsese.
“Tenet,” the Christopher Nolan spy thriller, received a mediocre response from movie goers, as did “Unhinged and “The New Mutants,” clearly indicating that audiences may not be ready to return to cinemas.
As part of efforts to pull customers back into the Cinemas, AMC (AMC), the world’s largest movie theater chain, sold tickets for just 15 cents on August 20 when it reopened more than 100 US venues. Most of the company’s 1,000 theaters are now open but at 40% capacity or less.
Box office sales in the United States remain near rock bottom, reaching just $11.3 million on October 1 from a 2020 peak of about $247 million on January 23, according to the CNN Business Recovery Tracker.