‘No Time to Die’ – or Bond 25 – or Bond XXV, as it will one day be known to archaeologists – has moved across the release schedule more often that 007 has glided around the world’s most exotic locations.
Today’s latest postponement – from April 2 to October 8 – comes as little surprise in the context of worldwide lockdowns, but the new date has been greeted with cautious optimism by two of London’s biggest independent cinemas.
‘This move comes as no surprise and whilst further delays are frustrating, I’m really pleased [“No Time to Die”] is sticking with a theatrical release,’ says Oliver Meek, executive director of Dalston’s Rio Cinema. ‘A healthy box office for it will be crucial to the Rio’s recovery, and I think it’s clear that an April release would be too early to maximise revenue from a film of this scale.’
Tyrone Walker-Hebborn, director of Mile End’s Genesis, agrees. ‘We support them postponing the worldwide theatrical release and not selling out to VOD platforms or releasing in other territories first, unlike some other distributors,’ he says. ‘I think their loyalty to the cinema industry should be applauded.’
‘This film seems to have become symbolic of cinemas struggling against the virus,’ says Rio’s Meek, ‘but I would prefer to have one a “Bond” film with a full capacity [cinema] as opposed to one third with social distancing.’
Other big-screen releases have also been pushed back. Edgar Wright’s ‘Last Night in Soho’ has shifted from April 23 to October 22, and ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ has moved to November 11. The long-gestating ‘Uncharted’ movie, meanwhile, is now coming out in February 2022.
Meek says that, provided lockdown is lifted, the Rio plans to reopen its doors long before any of them arrive. ‘We still hope to open in April or May and that we’ll find plenty of great content to screen.’
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