Already pushed back from their first quarter 2020 release dates, as a result of the ongoing global pandemic, Universal have opted to delay, once again, two of their biggest tentpoles.
“No Time to Die”, poised to be Daniel Craig’s swansong as 007, was most recently scheduled to open next month. With no fix for the coronavirus in sight, and theaters in the capitals still closed, the risk that Bond mightn’t bring in enough cash is very real, thinks the studio, so they’re pushing Jimmy B’s last go-round to next Easter.
“No Time to Die”‘s new date of April 2, 2021, has come as a distressing shock to the exhibition sector, which is starved of vital blockbusters to bring audiences back to movie theaters.
According to Variety, Cineworld is shuttering all 543 of its Regal Cinema venues in the U.S. and all cinemas across the U.K. and Ireland this coming week as a result of the film’s delay. Regal is the second largest domestic chain in the U.S., while Cineworld is the U.K.’s biggest cinema operator.
Sources indicate a reopening date hasn’t yet been set, but cinemas could stay closed until 2021.
“MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of ‘No Time To Die,’ the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until 2 April in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience,” the filmmakers said in a statement on Friday. “We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing ‘No Time To Die’ next year.”
Meantime, “F9 : The Fast Saga”, believed to be the second last film in the long-running “Fast & Furious” series, has been delayed a third time – Universal announced Friday that it has pushed back the debut of the film to Memorial Day weekend on May 28, 2021.
In March, as cases of coronavirus started to spread, Universal made the bold decision to push back the release of “F9” by an entire year.