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‘No Time to Die’ Explored $600 Million Sale to Streaming Services

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  • ‘No Time to Die’ Explored $600 Million Sale to Streaming Services

    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.

  • #2
    I noticed today that MGM said they were not interested in selling to a streaming service. But it all depends on how hungry they get. By next year it is going to look like a feeding frenzy. I just retired out of the business a year go after 59 years of managing and owning theaters. I think I got out at the right time. I am hoping everything turns out ok for the theater owners, but I have my doubts.


    • #3
      Studios never make movies of this size with their own money, so if whoever put up the cash for this one starts clearing their throats, there will be a sale.

      Now that the ‘rona is showing signs of coming back as bad as it was in the spring, I have no pretensions of seeing this, Wonder Woman 1984 or Dune on a screen bigger than my 55” Sony.


      • #4
        The studios, like all business are adapting to the new abnormal and seeing that a lot of their operation can be moved to much less expensive remote sites. In the case of the studios, it may give them a taste of what they always salivated about in their wet dreams. eliminating the brick and mortar theatres,i.e., their nemisis "middle man," and sell directly to their customers. Seems this will give them a trial run and they can experiment to see if this could be a new business model, at least on some titles. It many force them to make movies that cost less and recoup what the streaming marketplace can generate. It may be viable, it may not; in any event, William's doubts are well founded -- brick and mortar theatres will certainly get the short end of the stick. It may very well be that only the biggest theatre chains will survive and only the biggest tentpole releases will play in them. There is no doubt that the adaptation to coved reality is going to force on everyone the entire industry to readjust and make changes. And just like MANY industries are learning that working remotely can save lots of money while still being efficient and in many cases, even more productive. For those who discover this to be true in their operational model, some of those experimental changes may become permanent after covid. Distribution patterns have always been a fluid, ever evolving beast, with changes usually forced rather than courted by the industry; this crisis is just another punch in the gut that will force new ways of distributing product. It may result in studios and their money backers being forced to make smaller, less expensive movies rather than mega-million, mindless retreads. It might even force filmmakers to come up with new and innovative ideas and engaging, smart stories (imagine that) which don't rely on super special effects. Hey, I hear you out there....stop being so could happen.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frank Angel
          And just like MANY industries are learning that working remotely can save lots of money while still being efficient and in many cases, even more productive.
          Yup ... my wife has been working from home since August. She was originally told that her department would return to the office when the county moved into one of the lower of Newsom's DefCon-style color code conditions. Yesterday, she was told that management were actively discussing the possibility of home working becoming permanent. The reason? The office suite housing her department costs them $180k a year to rent, and almost three months of not using it has shown them that this is money they don't need to spend.

          If this becomes a growing trend, there will be numerous ripple effects on the economy. Residential real estate will see demand increase, especially for larger apartments and houses, because workers will want dedicated home offices. Commercial real estate will be whacked. Because you can claim the costs of running a home office as a tax deduction, including a proportion of rent and mortgage, if you are required to work at home (as distinct from given the option of doing so) and your employer doesn't reimburse those costs, local, state and federal government will suffer, too. The city next to mine is already making noises about requiring a business license for any and all home working activity, and the way things are going, I expect to see more moves like that.
          Last edited by Leo Enticknap; 10-28-2020, 10:01 AM.