Let's Talk: Will MGM Sell 'No Time To Die' To Streaming Services?
Here we are again to talk about whether big budget movies are going to streaming services. At those times, I was mainly speculating about Godzilla vs Kong being brought to HBO Max. Back then it didn't seem plausible enough because it was a big budget movie like Wonder Woman 1984 and Mulan. However, we have seen Mulan get moved to Disney Plus, we witnessed Tenet bomb in the box office, and AMC Theaters exclaimed they may go bankrupt by the end of 2020. Now in a recent article from Variety, there is a rumor about No Time To Die possibly being sold to streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV for $600 million.
In the article it reads as followed:
Apple, Netflix and other streaming services explored the possibility of acquiring “No Time to Die,” the upcoming James Bond movie that was originally slated to debut last April. The film’s release has been postponed multiple times, with the Daniel Craig vehicle moving back to November before being pushed into 2021 as the number of coronavirus cases kept growing.
MGM, the studio behind the film, reportedly lost between $30 million to $50 million due to the delays, insiders said. Bloomberg first reported the discussions, which have been the topic du jour in Hollywood this week. Other studios, such as Paramount and Sony, have raked in tens of millions by selling movies like “Greyhound,” “Coming 2 America” and “Without Remorse” to streaming services while the exhibition sector continues to struggle during the pandemic.
“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.
However, multiple insiders at rival studios and companies said that a possible Bond sale was explored overtly, and believe that MGM was at least open to the possibility of unloading their crown jewel for a princely sum. The studio was said to be looking for a deal of roughly $600 million — a price tag that was deemed too rich for two of the free-spending streaming services. A sale of this magnitude would be led exclusively by Kevin Ulrich, the chairman and CEO of MGM’s majority owner Anchorage Capital Group, insiders said.
It’s unclear if producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who exert control of the series through their company Eon, would sign off on the deal. Universal Pictures, which has foreign distribution rights to “No Time to Die,” would have to be made whole in any possible sale and reimbursed for any expenses the studio incurred. That the parties involved would explore a streaming sale is notable, given that the film was the first tentpole to move release dates before coronavirus was upgraded to a global pandemic — making it an early indicator that even the iconic spy and ladies man would not save us from the viral event.
Moving “No Time to Die” to a streaming service poses some logistical challenges. The film costs more than $250 million to produce and has lined up several promotional partnerships to help defray those costs — including Land Rover, Omega watches and Heineken. Those companies may have been expecting the film to hit theaters and might not be thrilled with a streaming-only bow. “Coming 2 America’s” sale to Amazon, for instance, was contingent on making sure that its promotional partners, McDonald’s and Crown Royal, were on board with the change in plans.
According to an MGM spokesperson they have no plans in selling the movie. That is as much of a confirmation as we are going to get from a movie studio. Yet, the article goes further in saying the idea of selling the new James Bond film has been explored according to insiders from rivaling studios. This brings up a few questions.
Who are these insiders?
How do they know that MGM has explored selling No Time To Die to streaming services?