The James Bond film No Time to Die is reportedly accruing $1 million (around Rs 7.5 crore) in interest, every month that it sits on the shelf. The film, originally slated for an April release, has been delayed multiple times due to the coronavirus pandemic. No Time to Die has now been slotted for an April 2021 release.
According to a story on The Hollywood Reporter, MGM is racking up costs because of the delay, and is not in a position to pay its debts until the film starts making money. This comes after recent reports that the studio had shopped the film to streaming services, demanding as much as $600 million (Rs 4400 crore) for the rights.
“MGM is suffering. Every major distributor at this point has a pile of unreleased expensive movies. The pile grows larger by the day,” Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Research told THR. “These films are inventory. They are sitting there with no return on their investment. Even with low interest rates, the interest costs are piling up.”
The report also mentioned that Apple offered between $350 and $400 million to secure the film’s rights for one year. MGM was targeting a number closer to double that. It was recently reported that Netflix was also involved in conversations.
Because of the film’s delay, UK cinema chain Cineworld was forced to close down. Odeon Cinemas switched to weekend-only opening times for a quarter of their venues.
During this period, studios such as Sony and Paramount have successfully sold major films such as Greyhound and Coming 2 America to streaming platforms. In India, Amitabh Bachchan’s Gulabo Sitabo was among the first films to forego a theatrical release in favour of a direct-to-OTT debut. His son Abhishek Bachchan’s Ludo and The Big Bull are slated to release on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar, respectively.
“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,” an MGM spokesperson told Variety.
No Time to Die, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, was reportedly produced for $250 million. According to the report, MGM has already lost between $30 million and $50 million because of the delay.
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