Bond 25 - "No Time to Die" (2021)

Which studio/company do you want to co-finance and distribute Bond 25?

  • Warner Bros.

    Votes: 15 38.5%
  • Sony Pictures

    Votes: 11 28.2%
  • 20th Century Fox

    Votes: 5 12.8%
  • Universal Pictures

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Annapurna Pictures

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • Apple

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Amazon

    Votes: 2 5.1%

  • Total voters
    39

Keith Cobby

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If Bond 25 is streamed, the studios will have killed off cinema. This will show that no film is too big not to be streamed and others will follow. Without a pipeline of major films, cinemas have nothing to show and it becomes self fulfilling, how can they reopen.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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If Bond 25 moves to streaming, I don’t think it’s at all a statement about theaters other than “we recognize the reality that between legal closures by local ordinances and audience reluctance to be exposed to a deadly virus, they’re not fully viable methods of distribution in the middle of a pandemic.”

As to the long term health of theaters, they were always going to have to reckon with the technological evolution that’s turned them from being the only way to see a movie to merely being a movie’s first and most expensive stop before home distribution. If theaters don’t recover from the pandemic, the pandemic will have only been the final nail in a coffin that a hundred years of technological innovation had been steadily building.

We’re in the midst of a long-time-in-the-making re-evaluation about how consumers interact with the content they consume. The pandemic didn’t start that and studios didn’t really either.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I do not have a Disney subscription. I’m really interested in seeing Milan too.
You don't need to have a Disney+ subscription to see Mulan. After about a month as a subscriber exclusive, it was released for purchase on other PVOD services like iTunes and Vudu. There will also be a Blu-ray release of it. No date has been announced, but Blu-ray.com has it in their database with artwork shown, so I'm guessing it will be sooner rather than later. There have been conflicting reports about how well it did, but I think it is clear that it did not perform the way Disney would have liked for it to do.

how can they reopen.
Does it matter? My local theater is open and people are not showing up in large enough numbers for it to remain viable. Just a few weeks ago, they transitioned to operating only on weekends. They are closed Monday to Thursday. Even the weekend numbers just aren't that high. They are operating within all the safety protocols, but people just don't want to show up in the middle of a pandemic. It doesn't matter how big the property was before the pandemic. People are making the choice that their health is more important than seeing a movie. That's it. I really want to see it, but even if they opened No Time to Die tomorrow, I wouldn't go. I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment.

If Bond 25 moves to streaming, I don’t think it’s at all a statement about theaters other than “we recognize the reality that between legal closures by local ordinances and audience reluctance to be exposed to a deadly virus, they’re not fully viable methods of distribution in the middle of a pandemic.”
Agreed.
 
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Tommy R

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I saw two movies when my local Regal theaters were reopened, and they were quite empty both times. Those Regals are now closed down again.
 
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Malcolm R

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People are making the choice that their health is more important than seeing a movie.
Given how the virus is spreading freely, and that we know masks and distancing are effective precautions but a large percentage of the population cannot be bothered to comply, I hardly think most people are putting their health above anything. They seem perfectly willing to do everything else, such as shopping, dining out, social gatherings, sporting events, etc., without any concern for the virus or their health. If there was a movie they wanted to see, and theaters were open, they'd be in theaters.

Tenet was not a guaranteed sure thing, and people seldom turned out for b-level releases or catalog revivals even pre-pandemic. So I don't believe they really, legitimately tested whether people were willing to return to theaters. If they'd released Bond or a Marvel film and that bombed, then we might be on to something.

Given all the unmasked people I saw today, including several store employees, many aren't overly concerned about their health.
 

Sam Favate

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I've been reading Bob Iger's book and in the section where he talks about the development of Disney+, he specifically mentions that the company wanted to have a direct-to-consumer strategy. He does say that they will continue to show films in theaters, but the long-term intent of the company is not to share revenue with outside companies, and logically, that includes movie theaters. (Never mind that this is how monopolies are defined.) So, I can see more studios doing this sort of thing in the future.

That said, $600 million for a Bond film is on the low side. They're bidding low, of course, suggesting that even if the film was released theatrically, the current situation would prevent it from making the $1 billion that the last couple of Bond movies have made (not to mention that costs would be lower without distribution).

This is a big moment in movie history, right here. We don't yet know how it will go.
 
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Osato

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I've been reading Bob Iger's book and in the section where he talks about the development of Disney+, he specifically mentions that the company wanted to have a direct-to-consumer strategy. He does say that they will continue to show films in theaters, but the long-term intent of the company is not to share revenue with outside companies, and logically, that includes movie theaters. (Never mind that this is how monopolies are defined.) So, I can see more studios doing this sort of thing in the future.

That said, $600 million for a Bond film is on the low side. They're bidding low, of course, suggesting that even if the film was released theatrically, the current situation would prevent it from making the $1 billion that the last couple of Bond movies have made (not to mention that costs would be lower without distribution).

This is a big moment in movie history, right here. We don't yet know how it will go.
“Has James Bond finally met his match?”
 
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Ronald Epstein

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If the new Bond film did happen to be purchased for $600 million by Netflix or Apple, then what?

How do those services make their money back?

I know I am comparing Apples to Oranges, but I just saw BORAT 2 for free (or inclusive) with my Amazon Prime subscription.

We had the chance to see GREYHOUND at no extra charge as part of our Apple TV+ subscription.

I tend to think that neither service is going to pay that amount for the Bond film and simply throw it on their service inclusive of the monthly subscription fee. As has been discussed, even Disney charged a premium fee for MULAN in its initial run.
 
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TravisR

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If Bond 25 is streamed, the studios will have killed off cinema. This will show that no film is too big not to be streamed and others will follow.
Fortunately, I don't think the situation is that dire yet. Bond is not the norm because the other studios & their tentpole movies aren't in the same situation. If MGM gets a massive payday for Bond (something that the most current rumors say is dead and not going to happen anyway), the only reason they're considering it is because they have no streaming outlet of their own. Since there is no MGM streamer, the money they'd get from Netflix or Apple would be enough to cover the cost of the movie, not spend any more money on a massive advertising budget and not lose a piece of the cost of the a ticket to theaters so the money from a streaming company would go entirely to MGM and that would put them way ahead of what they'd make in theaters now (and possibly even without the pandemic). All the other studios have their own streaming services that they'd put their movies on so there'd be no giant payday from Netflix or Apple or Hulu which means the studios still have to go to theaters or lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
 

Worth

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If the new Bond film did happen to be purchased for $600 million by Netflix or Apple, then what?

How do those services make their money back?
In the case of subscription services, it's not about making money on an individual title, it's about attracting new or lapsed subscribers, and keeping existing ones. I can't see them spending $600 million, but spending $300-400 million on Bond would probably drive more subscriptions their way than the $200 million Netflix spent on The Irishman.
 
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Worth

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I suspect the existing cinema chains will face bankruptcy eventually. They may be able to survive the pandemic, but there's a huge fundamental flaw in their business model - they have no control over their product. If they owned the films, they could set up some kind of streaming option to weather the storm. As it is, the only thing they're really selling is the theatrical experience and concessions. Sooner or later, the media companies will probably gobble up the theatre chains.
 

Keith Cobby

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If Bond is streamed and does ok it will surely encourage other studios to stream some of their bigger budget films over what is going to be a long Winter. This will shrink the product available to cinemas if they are able to open in the Spring, putting further pressure on their finances. Also, being able to watch big budget movies in their homes will likely reduce theatrical audiences. Basically, the same as internet shopping. Why travel and spend more money when you can get the product conveniently at home. Perhaps the virus is just accelerating change in the entertainment industry as with other areas.
 

Malcolm R

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That said, $600 million for a Bond film is on the low side. They're bidding low, of course, suggesting that even if the film was released theatrically, the current situation would prevent it from making the $1 billion that the last couple of Bond movies have made (not to mention that costs would be lower without distribution).
If Bond were to go the traditional theatrical route, and were to gross $1 billion worldwide, $600 million is likely what the studio would bring back after the split with exhibitors. So I'd think that's a great deal for MGM if they can find a streamer willing to pay that amount.

I'm skeptical that any streamer could recoup that amount of money on a single film, though. I am not willing to subscribe to any new service, nor am I willing to pay any premium to watch a new release feature film on my TV (and I cannot be alone in this regard). I would wait until it's available for regular viewing via one of my existing services, or I can buy a disc for a reasonable price.
 

Nelson Au

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Jake, you’re right, Mulan is available for purchase from Apple. I can see it there. But I’m hoping for an eventual 4K and blu ray release. Same with Bond, I’m hoping there will be a disc release.

My impression is that the younger audiences have just grown up with streaming and the theatrical experience is not the same for them as it was for us growing up. I know a coworker in his early 40’s who streams everything and is into the latest tech. And his very young kids likely know nothing more them streaming. Like others have said, it seems the pandemic has accelerated an on going trend that streaming will overcome the theatrical experience. As sad as that is for the theatrical chains.
 

Jim*Tod

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I think some of the trend toward watching at home on streaming must fall at the feet of the exhibitors. The standards for quality of presentation in both image and sound have slid in recent decades. At the same time home video quality has increased. Unless they can offer audiences something they cannot experience at home, why would anyone make the effort to go to a theater. Of course---I pity someone who decides to watch LAWRENCE OF ARABIA on their phone.
 

TravisR

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Unless they can offer audiences something they cannot experience at home, why would anyone make the effort to go to a theater.
They do- the experience of seeing a movie with an audience. I don't care if someone is a billionaire and has an IMAX theater built in their home, a comedy isn't as funny if you're not watching it with a laughing crowd, an action movie isn't as exciting if you're not watching with a cheering crowd and a horror movie isn't scary if you're not watching it with a scared crowd. Now that doesn't undermine your very valid point that theaters need to place some of the blame on themselves but the magic of seeing a movie in a theater is still there and I hope it stays forever.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think both @Jim*Tod and @TravisR are correct in some respects here.

When I visited here on vacation in November 2014, I saw Nightcrawler, Big Hero 6 and Interstellar presented properly in scope at the local multiplex. They filled the whole enormous screen and they were great experiences.

Then I moved here permanently in September 2016. By then, the same theater had begun letterboxing all scope films on their big screens, so it looks the same as if I'm watching a Blu-ray at home. The only time I will see any film actually fill the big screen there is if its ratio is 1.85:1 or less.

Like I said, this is the same theater, so I know they can present scope films properly. They just don't care to do so. But they are the best (and closest) option in town for major wide release films.

Because I only have a 40-inch TV with stereo sound, seeing a film there, even if it is letterboxed, is technically superior to what I can get at home. I don't mean to complain about my 40-inch TV, which I like and which I am fortunate to have. I just mean that, technically, the big screen and surround sound is still very much superior to what I personally have access to at home. As Travis mentioned, the experience of watching a film with a reactive audience is still a major plus, as well. So I absolutely plan to go back to the movie theater after the pandemic. I don't know when that will be. I do not expect it to be soon. But as long as the theater still exists, I look forward to returning there when it is actually safe to do so.

But I would like it better if they started using their entire screens for scope films again. Not doing that Is just lazy. The #1 job of a movie theater is to show movies. They should want to do that in the best quality possible. It's really sad that they don't care about doing that anymore. I certainly understand why people would prefer to wait if their viewing experience at home on a large TV with a sound system is equal or better to what the theater is offering.

Then there was the whole thing last year where they started adding even more commercials before the showtime. Now, a movie won't actually start until about 25 minutes after the listed starting time, and commercials are interspersed with the trailers, because the theaters can charge more money for commercial time closer to the feature. This is ridiculous, but it didn't stop me going. It might have stopped people going who have a better setup at home.

If the theater started presenting scope films correctly again, or if they reduce the commercial time, it wouldn't get me back there any sooner. The virus is in charge now, and I'm not going to a movie until it isn't. But I absolutely agree that the quality of the experience has gone down in recent years, and theaters could benefit from sincere efforts to improve it.

I’m hoping there will be a disc release.
There absolutely will be one in both cases. Mulan is already listed, with artwork, in the blu-ray.com database. I expect an announcement soon-iso.


For Bond, obviously, the disc is going to be farther off depending on what they decide to do with the movie. But I don't think there is any reason to doubt that there will eventually be one.

The future is 'made for television' films - sad isn't it
Netflix is the reason that we have Roma from Alfonso Cuarón and The Irishman from Martin Scorsese . No traditional Hollywood studio would spend the amount of money that was needed for those films on those films. Although it was much less expensive, Marriage Story from Noah Baumbach is also on that list where Netflix gave a home to something quality. You could call them made for television films and wouldn't be completely wrong, since that is where most people saw them. I was lucky enough to see all of those in the theater. But the quality craftsmanship on display in them is equal to or better than any of their contemporaries that received wide releases. Streaming is not the enemy here. It is another outlet for movies to get made.

Streaming has also provided us some really good movies this year while those of us who don't feel safe going to the movie theaters are staying home. Palm Springs went to Hulu instead of its originally planned wide theatrical release because of the pandemic, and I thought it was delightful. I would have enjoyed seeing it in a theater if there was no virus and circumstances allowed for that, but I'm really glad I got to enjoy it while I'm stuck at home. The same will be true for Soul on Christmas.

Perhaps Bond 25 will be the final one.
Not a chance. James Bond will return.
 
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