The coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe with reported cases in 78 countries. Another area it’s greatly affecting though is the movie industry. Theaters all across Asia have been closed to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus and that includes more than 70,000 in China alone. In fact, they’ve already lost over $200 million in revenue as a result.
China has become the dominant foreign market for American studios and it was only a matter of time until one of the big players shifted the release date for one of their blockbusters. Yes, No Time to Die, the new James Bond film, was originally set for an April 10th release but now, MGM is moving it to November 25th.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio will likely lose $30 to $50 million for delaying the pic. That’s a lot of money, but in the long run, it’ll probably prove to be a smart decision. If they’d stayed with the April release, the movie could have lost at minimum, 30% of its final box office revenue.
That’s a huge percentage considering the last two Daniel Craig pics have been by far the most profitable Bond films. Skyfall finished with $1.1 billion and Spectre pulled in close to $880 million worldwide. And with this being Craig’s last turn as the character, you’d expect a similar financial haul.
So, if we’re doing some quick math, if No Time to Die earns $800 million (a somewhat conservative number), it would have lost close to $250 million and that’s with 30% also being a conservative projection in losses.
Losing $30-$50 million instead of $250 million is a no-brainer, then. The November release also makes more sense, as every previous Craig movie opened in November and the only notable competition this year is Disney’s animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon.
No Time to Die reportedly has a budget of $250 million and that doesn’t include marketing costs. With so much riding on the movie, MGM’s decision to shift its release is no doubt the right one. The only question now, is, will more studios follow suit?