Yesterday brought the surprising news that, despite tickets going on sale on Monday, the 25th James Bond movie No Time to Die has been delayed due to concerns about the outbreak of the Coronavirus aka COVID-19. Originally set for an April 10th release in the United States, the film has now been pushed back to November 25th, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This came as a big surprise to many fans but according to a new report it could end up saving the film's producers money in the end despite an upfront monetary hit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM will "likely take a $30 million to $50 million hit" as a result of delaying the film's release. The delay comes one month before the film was set to be released, so many ad buys for the movie had already been purchased with THR noting that "the studio’s partners have been accommodating."
Because of theater closures across the world due to COVID-19 (over 70,000 are closed in China alone) if the film had been released in April it could have lost "a minimum of 30%" of its final box office. With the success of Daniel Craig's tenure as Bond and this being his final time as the character it's likely the film could have hit $1 billion worldwide if the Coronavirus had not spread, meaning its final worldwide box office (had it stuck to the April release date) would have been at least $300 million less than originally projected. A total that high would be nothing to scoff at, but the delay could push it back into $1 billion worldwide territory.
Though a firm number wasn't reported, No Time to Die reportedly has a budget akin to 2015's SPECTRE which had a staggering production budget of $245 million, making them the two most expensive movies in the entire franchise. With a budget that high and advertising spending likely in the multi-millions as well the film would need a huge worldwide box office performance to recoup its costs.
November has long been a big month for Bond movies, with most of the Craig and Pierce Brosnan era films choosing that late release window. It's also worth noting that Craig starred in one of November 2019's biggest hits, Knives Out, from director Rian Johnson.
The biggest box office competition for No Time to Die will now become Disney's next animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon, which opens on the same day. Also hitting theaters on Thanksgiving week are King Richard and The Happiest Season.