JAMES BOND movie No Time To Die’s wide cinematic release is in doubt as Universal’s feud with Odeon and Cineworld could see the 007 movie out on VOD the same day.
This week has seen a savage attack by both Odeon and Cineworld cinemas on Universal Pictures. In open letters, the chains have informed the Hollywood studio they will not screen their movies if they keep to their newly announced business strategy of releasing films on video-on-demand simultaneously or very near to their cinema dates. James Bond fans are particularly concerned by the news considering that Universal are distributing Daniel Craigs latest 007 outing No Time To Die.
The new Bond movie has already been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic from April 2 to November 12 in the UK.
And with the reopening of cinemas uncertain, fans have been wondering if this could be pushed back to 2021, or even see No Time To Die released on VOD instead or simultaneously with movie theatres.
As it stands, Odeon and Cineworld are telling Universal that they will not show No Time To Die in the cinemas.
If nothing changes, this would mean a limited cinema release to chains willing to show the studios films.
After all, presumably Universal are planning on No Time To Die releasing on VOD at the same time or close to November 12.
However, James Bond news website MI6 HQ reckons there could be an exception made for the new 007 movie as Universal are only distributing the film internationally, while United Artists will do so in North America.
In fact, James Bond movies are historically produced by EON Productions and MGM.
The outlet says that No Time To Die “may or may not be affected by these developments.”
MI6 HQ argues: “As the Bond film is not actually a Universal film (from the studio perspective), and Universal is merely distributing it, both parties could argue an exception and release as normal but still hold their grounds on Universal titles.
“One may assume that MGM ultimately has the power to decide for Universal on how it will be released in the international territories.
“It is incomprehensible that Universal could release ‘No Time To Die’ as a premium streaming rental day & date as a cinema release internationally, but United Artists Releasing keep to the traditional ‘only in theatres’ model for North America.”
MGM and Universal are hopeful that No Time To Die will have a $1 billion box office, like Skyfall – the highest-grossing James Bond movie of all time.
Having done the maths, the Bond news site worked out that if No Time To Die is released on PVOD at $19.99 worldwide, it would have to be bought by 34.4 million people to earn the same amount of money.
Trolls World Tour skipped cinemas entirely due to the pandemic and Universal took the gamble of releasing it straight to PVOD and boy did it pay off.
With 5 million sales in just three weeks, the sequels profits arent far off the original film, which went to movie theatres first.
It was Trolls World Tours success which sparked Universals business strategy move that has caused this feud with cinema chains.
Now what is rather startling is that MI6 HQ have worked out that if just 1 in 3 people who planned to go to cinemas to see No Time To Die would pay $19.99 to stream the film at home, then “the future of only in theatres is in doubt.”
They added: “This may be our new normal.”
Hopefully, EON Productions, MGM and Universal will announce their plans in the coming weeks and months.