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Throughout this fall season, several major blockbusters have been rumored, at one point or another, to be contemplating a streaming release. Recently we saw Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman 1984 go from streaming rumor to reality, with a simultaneous HBO Max release giving the studio’s proprietary platform a month-long exclusive. However, one film you’re less likely to see head to a streaming service near you is the 25th James Bond film No Time To Die. Among the various factors at play, you can definitely thank the hefty price tag MGM wants for those hypothetical rights, which has turned out to be higher than previously reported.
In earlier reporting on the matter, No Time To Die’s price tag was set at a cool $600 million, with both Apple TV+ and Netflix in play to potentially win Daniel Craig’s swan song into their library. If you thought that was a lowball figure, particularly when keeping in mind how much a 007 movie actually needs to make to break even, get ready for the most recent estimate. According to The L.A. Times, $800 million was the number MGM had in mind, and at that rate, there were no takers.
But that’s only the beginning of the minefield that will prevent No Time To Die from heading to streaming. And if we’re honest, it’s an easier obstacle to navigate, as an issue familiar to James Bond fans has reared its head again. While MGM, the historic studio holding the domestic distribution rights to the James Bond series, might want to make a deal for No Time To Die’s streaming future sooner than later, the final decision has to be approved by Bond series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Which, in a quote from an unnamed producer, basically boils down to this:
It’s MGM’s golden goose, but it’s the Broccolis’ platinum goose.
While MGM has the domestic stake, and Universal has the international stake in No Time To Die’s distribution picture, it’s ultimately EON Productions that owns the rights to the James Bond franchise. As the latest movie in the storied saga of 007 has been pushed to April 2021, with an estimated $1 million price tag on each month the film doesn’t release into theaters, there’s a lot of money at stake when it comes to shelving this Bond adventure. But with Spectre making $880.7 million internationally, and Skyfall before it crossing the $1 billion mark, this is a game of high stakes poker that’s going to need the right player to win it all. And the longer the wait, the higher the buy-in will be.
No Time To Die is slated for release on April 2, 2021, with MGM currently committed to a theatrical debut. But if anything should change between now and then, CinemaBlend will report those developments as they occur. Such an event could tie into another release date shift for some other project, so you should check out the 2021 release schedule and start speculating who might make way and who will hold fast.