'No Time To Die' Delayed To Easter Weekend 2021

Just a month before it was set to hit theaters following a prior COVID-19 delay, No Time to Die has been delayed again. MGM has pushed the No Time to Die release date to Easter weekend 2021, vacating its November 20 slot.

Deadline broke the news that MGM has delayed No Time to Die to April 2, 2021 on Easter weekend. With the latest James Bond installment leaving the month of November, the month is almost completely emptied of major Hollywood releases, with the exception of Pixar's Soul. MGM said of the delay in a statement:

"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. We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing No Time To Die next year."

The sudden move comes as box office numbers in the U.S. continue to lag, with the continued closures of major markets like New York City and Los Angeles. With coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers back on the rise as the months get colder, it's unclear how much longer those markets will remain closed and if other areas will shutter theaters as well. Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, the United Kingdom — a prime market for 007 flicks — faces a possible lockdown. With only the Chinese box office returning to normal, it's probably a financial risk that MGM didn't want to take, as the roughly $250 million budgeted film stands to make $1 billion worldwide.

MGM's decision appears to have come at the last minute, however, as the No Time to Die marketing was just beginning to ramp up ahead of the planned November release. A James Bond podcast was launched, and a music video debuting Billie Eilish's theme song for the film. Deadline notes that this is a blow to No Time to Die's promotional partners like Omega Watches, Adidas, Swatch and Heineken, who had all begun their promotions, which will incur penalties on the studio. It's clear that MGM would rather eat those costs than risk a big release in theaters when U.S. cinemas were still floundering, even in the wake of Tenet's release. After all, MGM was the first studio smart enough to delay their film by more than half a year early on in the pandemic, and their playing it safe here is probably an indication that things won't improve for quite a while now. It likely won't be long until we see the fall slate entirely vacated, with Pixar's Soul and Universal's Croods: A New Age probably the next to go.