Bond just bailed.
After becoming the first major release to delay its spring release as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, No Time To Die has moved off its adjusted date of November 20 and, more broadly, out of 2020 altogether. Now, Daniel Craig‘s Bond finale will open on April 2, 2021, one full year after it was originally slated to hit theaters.
The move is a devastating blow to the battered hopes that theatrical distributors had for 2020, ones that were already on life support.
While the delay isn’t entirely shocking, it’s more of a surprise than other cancellations have been.
For one, marketing for the November 20 date had been maintained, including the release this past week of the music video for the title song by Billie Eilish. That has differed from Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow, two tentpoles that went weeks (even a month or more) without fresh marketing before their respective October and November dates were moved.
In addition, there’s been a line of conventional thinking that since Bond’s global appeal is so massive, North America isn’t a make-or-break region for a 007 movie and, therefore, No Time To Die was a safer release risk even if U.S. and Canada theaters weren’t at comparable global capacity.
With this latest delay, that leaves three major studio releases still slated for 2020 theatrical runs: Pixar’s Soul (Nov. 20), Dune (Dec. 18), and Wonder Woman 1984 (Dec. 25). You could add DreamWorks’s The Croods 2 (Dec. 4) and 20th Century’s Death On The Nile (Dec. 18), but neither of those have nearly the appeal of the top three and would be less devastating to theater owners if they were to move to 2021.
Of course now the likelihood that any of those films will hold to their 2020 slots has greatly diminished (the top three especially), and if New York and L.A. don’t reopen soon (probably by the end of October) we can probably expect all of 2020’s handful of remaining titles to be 2020 releases no more.