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

Colin Jacobson

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Looks like Bond isn't for sale, perhaps MGM have pulled back from the abyss. Streaming would have done incalculable damage to the series and the industry.
Agree.

There are some movies that really need the theatrical run and that would be diminished if they went straight to video, and Bond is one of them.

If these theater semi-closures endure a lot longer, I suppose we'll probably get some "can't imagine they won't run theatrical" movies direct to video, but I don't know what that movie would be, especially due to international box office.

Would Uni want a "Fast and Furious" movie direct to video when that would crush non-US box office? Seems unlikely...
 
  • Agreed
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jcroy

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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.
Hmmm ..... I haven't thought of it that way.

(More generally).

The notion of watching something with an immediate offline "crowd", may very well still be the primary selling point for other events such as rock concerts, basketball/football games, or even the local sports bar/pub during live sports events.
 

jcroy

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(Rambling further offtopic).

I remember a friend who liked going to the local casinos all the time.

I asked her why she likes going to the actual casino, instead of playing the same casino games online. Her response was that she liked the "live action" at the tables and fleeting camaraderie with other folks playing at the same table.

Basically she was "addicted" to the excitement happening in a crowd.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It’s not really a matter of the experience being better; it’s just the practical reality that the longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment on a shelf with only the hope that one day its releasable.

MGM wanted $600 million for this apparently, which is what you’d expect their cut of the grosses to be if the film made over a billion dollars at the box office. And that’s a big if. Certainly it was worth doing due diligence to see if anyone was willing to pay that right now.
 

jcroy

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It’s not really a matter of the experience being better; it’s just the practical reality that the longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment on a shelf with only the hope that one day its releasable.

MGM wanted $600 million for this apparently, which is what you’d expect their cut of the grosses to be if the film made over a billion dollars at the box office. And that’s a big if. Certainly it was worth doing due diligence to see if anyone was willing to pay that right now.
A sign of problems will be if MGM ends up lowering the going price from $600 million, if the current climate continues.
 

jcroy

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In the last paragraph of the previously linked variety article, it asserts some of the costs were defrayed by sponsors/advertisers Land Rover, Omega watches, Heineken, etc ....

What's not known is whether these sponsors/advertisers are on board if Bond25 goes the streaming and/or vod route bypassing the theatrical route.
 

jcroy

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In complete agreement that there is nothing like an audience to make the movie-watching experience better
(On a tangent).

I have found that when I'm watching shows/movies on my own with nobody else around, I am thinking a lot like a "professor" while watching. Basically figuring what generic tropes are being used, and how the storyline might end up playing itself. Not really being engaged fully with the experience of actually watching.

In contrast the few times I went to the theater over the past decades, it was a very different experience for me. I wasn't thinking as much like a "professor", and was actually watching the movie/play as an "experience".
 

Tommy R

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It’s not really a matter of the experience being better; it’s just the practical reality that the longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment on a shelf with only the hope that one day its releasable.
And how many millions are they spending each time they start promoting before they end up delaying? The closer it got to November I thought for sure it was going to be delayed again, but then they released another trailer and poster images and who knows what else they got going to start promotion again. That gave me hope that maybe November would happen, but then shortly after the delay was announced. I just assumed that was more money they lost on promotion they’re just gonna have to spend again whenever it does come out. Not to mention whatever wasted promotion money they spent earlier in the year when it was scheduled for April.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I suspect they didn’t spend much yet for the November push; they moved it just before they would have ramped up to high gear. It doesn’t cost much to do digital ads. The big costs usually come from posters and advertisements in physical locations like billboards and from expensive television advertisements during live sporting events. It just so happens that the pandemic has decreased the traffic that would see billboards, and television ratings have been depressed by the scaled back nature and/or absence of new content, so those rates are lower too.

I think MGM’s asking price may come down the longer this drags on, while the bid price for streaming services may go up as they burn through readily available content. I think there’s still probably a deal to be made, especially if 2021 starts looking more iffy for event planning.

In the case of Bond, it’s not just the investment from the studio that needs to be protected but also the production pipeline on the franchise. This is Craig’s last but almost certainly not the last Bond film. They’ve got to recast. They’ve got to make a new film and relaunch. And they can’t even begin that process until this film is out and has exhausted its first run, whether it be on streaming or in theaters.

The question that MGM might have to wrestle with is, at what point do you settle for a nice but not overwhelming return on this film, just so that they can begin work on the next one? Will the studio, the rightsholders, and the investors accept delays in perpetuity or at a certain point do that just have to get on with it?

I don’t think there’s one simple answer to that question but it’s fascinating to see it unfold.
 

jcroy

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In the case of Bond, it’s not just the investment from the studio that needs to be protected but also the production pipeline on the franchise. This is Craig’s last but almost certainly not the last Bond film. They’ve got to recast. They’ve got to make a new film and relaunch. And they can’t even begin that process until this film is out and has exhausted its first run, whether it be on streaming or in theaters.
There has been a precedent of the Bond production pipeline being very protracted: the six years between License To Kill (1989) to Goldeneye (1995).
 

Nelson Au

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Just to toss in another thought, Hamilton is a stage production. But it was filmed and streamed. I think that is considered a theatrical experience too. That of course is different.

I know a James Bond film is an event film. It’s supposed to be a theatrical experience. And there is still a stigma for films to go straight to ”video”. I used quotation marks because is streaming really video? It’s just another way to consume the product. But I get that this feels like it’s lowering the status of an A film to a lower letter.

I’m just musing. I know that MGM is not currently serious about selling the film to a steaming service. They just tested the waters.
 

jcroy

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I think this is the key quote from this ^ article:


Broccoli is seen as a staunch traditionalist who is very much in support of the theatrical experience. Furthermore, Bond is a franchise connected to luxury and scarcity, and by going to a streamer there could be a brand hit in her eyes, according to one insider. “It’s a dip into a pool you won’t be able to get out of,” says the source.


(On a tangent).

The big past precedent of this for me, was Stargate. I liked the 1994 movie at the time, where I was hoping there would be some sequels over the 1990s.

Though when I first saw Stargate SG1 on tv, at the time I thought it was a significant step down. Gradualy over the years I came to appreciate SG1 and Atlantis a lot more than the original movie. In spite of the success and decent quality of the tv franchise, even today I still have a "brain damaged" notion that it was a "demotion" from the original movie.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Broccoli has a simlar mindset, where a tv series and/or direct-to-video films would completely "demote" the Bond franchise brand equity to second tier.
 
  • Agreed
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AshJW

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I’m not a subscriber to Apple + and even Bond wouldn’t change that. Same goes for Disney +.

There are some sorts of movies that belong into the theatres. And Bond is one of them.
I’d rather wait another year. The question is can they wait that long?
 

Josh Steinberg

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Apple+ is $5 per month, no minimum amount of subscription time (so a person can do one month and cancel), and comes with a free trial as well that can also be canceled before billing begins.

Thats significantly less than PVOD pricing typically is.

In a hypothetical scenario where Bond goes to A+, I don’t see “not currently a subscriber” as being a high barrier to the success of the release.
 

Malcolm R

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You still need some piece of hardware that can run the A+ app. People seem to forget that this does not appear out of thin air and pop up on your TV menu for a lot of people. I cannot just press a button and suddenly watch A+.
 

Josh Steinberg

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That’s true, but it’s no longer restricted to just Apple devices, so it’s considerably more available than it might have been a year ago.
 
  • Agreed
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Jake Lipson

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by going to a streamer there could be a brand hit in her eyes, according to one insider. “It’s a dip into a pool you won’t be able to get out of,” says the source.
I am very much looking forward to seeing this film whenever it is safe to do that. However, if she refuses to go to a streamer, the wait could be a very long time. Italy and Germany just closed theaters again. France could be next. The rate of cases in the United States is out of control. If this actually does open in April, which seems unlikely to me, I'm not going.

If Broccoli and MGM want to sit on the film for another year or however long until we have an effective vaccine widely distributed, that is their choice to make. I would certainly go see this in the theater after a vaccine. However, this situation has gone on for so long already and has no end in sight. Once they decide they can't do the April date, I wonder if they just kick it down the pike again or if they might feel differently about exploring other options for putting it out.
 

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