The movie was originally slated to premiere on April 10; insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter that the move will cost MGM $30 to $50 million. While the majority of the film’s marketing campaign had yet to start, expenses have already begun to add up, which include a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad that ran in February.
Keeping the April debut might have proven to be more costly to MGM, even though the film could have withstood the hit due to its profit margins. Sources told THR that the studio’s choice to move the film to Nov. 12 in the U.K. and Nov. 25 in North America was due to the fact that numerous theaters around the world have been closed, which could have led to a minimum 30 percent trimmed from final box office numbers—potentially $300 million from an expected $1 billion yield.
Film producers have been readying themselves for this moment. “They obviously are doing the right thing by putting the public safety, world safety, first,” No Time to Die producer Barbara Broccoli told THR. Producer Michael Wilson added, “How will coronavirus affect the whole world markets and affect trade in general? We’re just one of the people that have to work in that environment.”
In just China, around 70,000 theaters have been shuttered since January, and they aren’t prepared to open soon. The U.K. is also susceptible to theater closures, particularly with a huge outbreak in Italy that could possibly spread across Europe. Smaller Asian markets could be affected as well.
The delayed release was announced on Wednesday—too late notice to move No Time to Die star Daniel Craig’s upcoming gig as host of Saturday Night Live on March 7.
On Thursday, researchers revealed that they’ve discovered two strains of coronavirus, which has infected almost 100,000 and killed over 3,300 people globally. The U.S. has confirmed 14 deaths, as of Friday.