MGM, Universal and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced on Twitter Wednesday that the film would be pushed back from its April release to November 2020. The announcement came as fears mount that the ongoing coronavirus epidemic may lead to more theater closures that would have further impacted the film’s success.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move to push the 25th “Bond” film back to Nov. 12 in the U.K. and Nov. 25 in the U.S. will cost the studio between $30 million and $50 million. It notes that, although the bulk of the film’s marketing had yet to roll out, a significant sum had still been spent, including a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad that ran in February promoting the now-defunct release date.
While the price tag of delaying the movie seems steep, the outlet notes that its a fraction of what it could have faced had it released as planned in markets with closed theaters.
Concerns had already been brewing around the imminent release and the global outbreak. Publicity plans in China, Japan and South Korea had previously been canceled. Several theaters in China are closed due to the outbreak. Meanwhile, there are concerns that the coronavirus in Italy could expand to the rest of Europe.
THR estimates that the film could have been hit to the tune of 30 percent of its final projected box office tallies — or $300 million out of a likely $1 billion global take.
"No Time to Die" was originally scheduled for a March 31 world premiere in London and a North American debut on April 10.
The Bond films make a significant portion of their profits from international markets. The last film, “Spectre,” made over $679 million from overseas theaters in 2015, with over $84 million of that total coming from China.
Hollywood film release and production schedules have already been affected by the outbreak. Last week, Paramount Pictures halted production on the seventh “Mission: Impossible” film, which had been scheduled to shoot in Venice, Italy. The studio also postponed the Chinese release of “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
The coronavirus outbreak emerged in China and has spread globally.
"No Time to Die" is Daniel Craig's last movie as 007. It also stars Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Christoph Waltz. Oscar-winner Rami Malek joined the cast as Bond's next nemesis along with franchise newcomers Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch.
The film was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.