James Bond: No Time To Die has no confirmed release date in China – Another delay coming?

No Time To Die: James Bond film to premiere in October

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After five delays to date, new James Bond movie No Time To Die is currently set to hit UK cinemas on September 30 and a week later in US. Daniel Craig’s fifth and final 007 movie needs a whopping international release to be profitable, but other Hollywood blockbusters have been struggling in the pandemic world. In fact, Variety has reported that China still doesn’t have fixed release dates for big movies that have already been released in the US, the UK, and other territories.

These blockbusters include the likes of Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and The Suicide Squad.

Of course, all of these movies have also had hybrid releases, with the option to see them in the cinemas or on streaming services Disney+ and HBO Max.

While in China, potential future audiences for these movies are shrinking with pirated versions of the Hollywood tent poles being made widely available within hours of US releases.

Since these blockbusters’ release dates are on ice at the Chinese box office, that means that No Time To Die isn’t necessarily guaranteed to release in the world’s largest film market in just a few weeks time.

This was pointed out by Bond new site MI6 HQ, who tweeted the article and commented: “Holy smokes – #NoTimeToDie does not have a confirmed release in China. This. Changes. Everything.”

The same outlet recently worked out the maths that No Time To Die’s box office prospects aren’t looking profitable for the film’s current release dates, even with a China debut at the same time.

According to their well-researched report, the cost of the new Bond movie was publicly filed with the UK’s Companies House.

The overall total was £214 million, which had grown from £199.5 million due to interest charges.

While a year on that has risen again to around £226 million, which when converted to US dollars is an estimated $314 million.

Add advertising on top and even at the lower end that’s $464 million that needs to be made back in order for No Time To Die to be a profitable film.

But then considering that MGM will take around 50 per cent of every dollar spent on a cinema ticket given the exhibitors’ cut, that means No Time To Die needs to make at least $928 million at the worldwide box office just to break even.

This is something no blockbuster released during the pandemic has yet managed, not even the usual $1 billion at the box office shoo-in that is the Fast and Furious saga, with its ninth outing.

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Now if Chinese cinemas won’t show the new Bond movie in the next few weeks with the rest of the world, perhaps a delay to 2022 could be on the cards.

While the other option could be what the recent Disney and Warner Bros blockbusters have done, which is to just let the world’s largest film market release it later and then add the profits to the total box office in the future.

However, the problem remains that No Time To Die would get pirated like the other movies, thereby decreasing the potential movie theatre audience upon release. And considering EON Productions are committed to a cinematic release without a hybrid streaming service debut, perhaps a delay to 2022 – as disappointing for fans as it would be – would make the most business sense.

No Time To Die is currently set to release in UK cinemas on September 30, 2021 and in US movie theatres on October 8.


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