The other studios’ jitters are often put down to the mixed commercial fortunes of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet last year, which opened in British cinemas a few weeks after the Lockdown One restrictions were eased. That move was widely seen in the industry as a strategic misstep, but as Nolan himself told the Los Angeles Times in November, they were looking at its box office results from a stubbornly 2019 perspective.
“Rather than looking at where the film has worked well and how that can provide them with much needed revenue, they’re looking at where it hasn’t lived up to pre-Covid expectations, and will start using that as an excuse to make exhibition take all the losses from the pandemic instead of getting in the game and adapting – or rebuilding our business, in other words.”
It’s striking, and not a little concerning, that Eon, MGM and Universal are still committed to a simultaneous global release for Bond, even after it’s become abundantly clear, almost a month into the vaccine rollout, that different countries are going to shake off Covid at very different speeds. Will they be satisfied that enough major markets have sufficiently recovered in 10 months? Or might they push it back to April 2022, just to be on the safe side?