The movie’s global release has been pushed back from April to October as the pandemic keeps many theatres shuttered.
The global release of the James Bond movie No Time to Die was postponed to October from April, its producers said, another setback for movie theatres trying to rebuild a business crushed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The movie’s new debut date is October 8, according to an announcement on the James Bond website and Twitter feed.
No Time to Die, from MGM and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, had originally been set to hit the big screen in April 2020 but was postponed to November and then to April 2021.
The film, which cost an estimated $200m to produce, marks actor Daniel Craig’s last outing as agent 007.
Cinema owners were hoping No Time to Die would kick off a rebound in moviegoing. The pandemic devastated the film business in 2020, and ticket sales in the United States and Canada sunk 80 percent. That hurt independent theatres and big chains including AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc and Cinemark Holdings Inc.
With the virus still rampant in many areas, including in the key Los Angeles market, Hollywood studios appear reluctant to send their biggest films to theatres.
Many cinemas are closed, and ones that are open enforce strict attendance limits to allow for social distancing. The UK Cinema Association said the decision to delay the film’s release was “clearly disappointing … [but] at the same time not surprising”.
“Clearly — like the producers of the film — the UK’s cinema operators look forward when the time is right to ensuring that as many people as possible are able to enjoy this and other major titles on the big screen, their natural environment,” it said, calling for government support for the sector.
The Bond franchise is one of the movie world’s most lucrative, with 2015’s Spectre raking in $880m at the box office worldwide, while Skyfall in 2012 grossed more than $1bn globally.
The next closely-watched movie is Black Widow from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios, currently scheduled to debut in theatres on May 7.