Home Entertainment No Time To Die, Fast & Furious 9 delayed prompting major cinema closures

No Time To Die, Fast & Furious 9 delayed prompting major cinema closures

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While I would like to wish everybody a happy James Bond Day, I have some bad news as the 2020 cinema release schedule is getting shaken and stirred once again. No Time To Die was the movie that kickstarted the wave of major films being pushed back in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic after the latest James Bond title was delayed to November this year. But with the cinema industry still on very shaky legs, MGM and Universal have decided to push back No Time to Die once more to 2 April 2021, almost exactly one year after it was originally supposed to debut.

Just a day after debuting the official music video for Billie Ellish’s theme song for No Time To Die, the studios made the official announcement over the weekend via social media. In the statement MGM, Universal and the franchise producers cited that the delay would allow No Time To Do “to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.”

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 2021 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.

While cinemas in several countries, such as the major market of China, are open again, they’re operating under audience restrictions. More importantly though, in the US, the world’s biggest movie market, cinemas in the key states of New York and Los Angeles are still mostly shut down as the virus keeps raging. And in the UK, James Bond’s home country and key market, lockdowns are being reimplemented as a second wave of the Coronavirus hits those shores.

With Disney already delaying Marvel’s Black Widow to next year, the only other major releases left in 2020 are Warner Bros.’s December double feature of Dune and Wonder Woman 1984. WB appears to be adamant in trying to revive the cinema industry singlehandedly, but with the studio’s plan of Christoper Nolan’s Tenet leading the charge being met with a lukewarm reception, it puts the potential success of any film released this year in major jeopardy. And Cineworld is not willing to take that risk.

In the wake of No Time To Die’s delay, the world’s second-largest cinema chain will be closing down 128 of its UK and Ireland theatres according to Deadline. In the US, all 543 of Cinemaworld’s Regal Cinemas, are being shuttered again as well. Many of these had opened specifically to accommodate the release of Tenet only to find a lack of willing audience members, resulting in these cinemas actually being worse off than if they had just stayed closed. According to Variety‘s sources, there’s currently no scheduled date for when these cinemas will re-open, but it will probably only be well into 2021 due to the lack of early blockbusters. Unfortunately, this will massively affect the livelihoods of thousands of cinema workers (5 500 staff in the UK alone) who shockingly were not informed of the closure until the news broke online. Gasp.

There’s one more casualty of No Time To Die’s delay. While MGM is the official distributor of the James Bond franchise in the US, that duty falls to Universal Pictures internationally. And Universal already had a film allocated to the 2 April 2021 slot that James Bond would now be taking up with Fast & Furious 9. With the studio not wanting to go head to head with itself, F9 is now being pushed back eight weeks to 28 May 2021.

That puts it almost exactly a year after its originally scheduled release of May 2020. It’s also just one week after Legendary and WB’s release of Godzilla vs Kong. Somehow I think that Vin Diesel may be able to wrestle a giant radioactive lizard and overgrown gorilla into submission. That’s if these films actually come out on those dates, of course.

Last Updated: October 5, 2020

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