007‘s license to kill renewed for multiplexes!
At last, some common sense has prevailed. It was being rumored that the brand new James Bond movie ‘No Time To Die‘ which has been delayed several times this year and now resides firmly on the 2021 release slate would hit that dreaded format, the streaming service instead of opening where it belongs, on a movie theatre screen. For days, the news was circling the internet and the ‘sites’ in the ‘know’ that MGM was offering the film around the streaming sites with a starting bid of around $600million to gain the rights to the film. It was even mentioned that it would be a two-way fight between Apple TV and Netflix to obtain the services of 007.
Now, however, a spokesman for MGM has completely denied the rumor, shutting it down. The company was rumored to be under pressure to sell the film to a streaming service to get its money back on the film. The spokesman tole Variety:
“We do not comment on rumors. The film is not for sale. The film’s release has been postponed until April 2021 in order to preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers”
After what has occurred this year with our cinematic entertainment, you could be forgiven if you believed the rumor regarding the film. However, it was NEVER going to happen. The film is being said to have cost $300million to produce and that doesn’t include the marketing costs, the promotional budget, or Billie Eilish for her powerful and haunting theme song for the film. Add those together and you could be looking at closer to $500million BEFORE the film hits screens. To then sell it for $600million would be a stupid decision.
Also, MGM and Universal both know that the world is waiting to see Daniel Craig‘s final outing as Bond, and despite the rumored three-hour runtime, the film is likely to break the $1billion barrier with ease. Why would MGM or Universal risk losing that kind of cash when it’s easily accessible in a few months? Easy answer, they wouldn’t. Let’s put it in another way. The film is ready to go and can hit screens earlier if it’s safe. Even if it keeps the April 2021 date it has, it is still going to open huge. Audiences will rip the doors off the multiplexes to see the film and their money will flow into registers worldwide like water into a swimming pool. So it sits on the shelf for a few extra months. Patience is a virtue but if the studios remain patient and not panic, then it will pay dividends come release time.
It has also been said that a senior shareholder at Disney is demanding that their Marvel movie ‘Black Widow‘ goes straight to streaming on Disney+ in the same way as the studio mandated for ‘Mulan‘ earlier this year. Give me a f*****g break! You, my friend, can demand all you want. $29.99 to own the film a few months before it hits the service FOR FREE maybe suits you but come on. In almost the same way as ‘No Time To Die‘ will perform once it opens, so will ‘Black Widow‘. By blowing the doors off the multiplexes. It is guaranteed to be a $1billion grossing film and again, Disney won’t lose out on those kinds of numbers. ‘Mulan‘ DID make a good return on PVOD but many Marvel fans, myself included, want to see the film on the big screen, not shunted to a TV size format YET. You may want your money, Pal but we want our entertainment where it should be experienced. Adding to the fact is the film is Scarlett Johansson‘s final time as the character, in almost the same way ‘No Time To Die‘ is Daniel Craig‘s, meaning the fans and the general public will line up around the block to get in to see the film. It is a no-brainer.
I’d expect to hear more of these rumors in the coming months to be fair. One or two may turn out to be true but for the major majority, it will be a case of holding their nerve, keeping their assigned dates, and then ripping the box offices apart. This year has been a total wipeout, both for the studios and the theatre chains themselves. But next year, the box office takings will more than make up for this year’s disastrous turn of events. It will be crowded. It will be hectic. But it will be nothing less than completely entertaining and enjoyable. And better than that, it will be on the silver screen, where it belongs.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!
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