A quarter of fans say they are losing interest.
Perhaps no film has been more affected by the pandemic than NO TIME TO DIE.
It’s been a rocky road to release for TIME. The film was originally scheduled to open in November 2019, which would have been perfect. The film would have wrapped its theatrical run just as the pandemic hit in March 2020.
But, that date was pushed to April 2020 when the original director, Danny Boyle, left the project over creative differences. Cary Fukunaga (BEASTS OF NO NATION) came on to direct.
Obviously, the new April data was just as theaters were closing down. So, the film was then pushed to Thanksgiving weekend but was moved up to its current October 8th date a few months later.
It’s easy to understand why the film moved to the fall. Even last year, the expectation was that there would be a vaccine in Q1 2021 (there was) and that theatrical might resemble the pre-pandemic box office by Q3 2021. But, as if TIME needed any more bad luck, the Delta variant now looks to interrupt the film’s release again.
At The Quorum, we wanted to know if fans had become restless; if the delays had caused them to lose interest in the film.
We went out and polled 600 people. First, we asked how many “James Bond” films they had seen: all of them, most of them or some of them. Folks who had not seen any or weren’t fans were then removed. Among those that expressed an interest in seeing TIME, we asked if the delays had any impact on their interest. The vast majority (76%) said they were just as excited as before (middle chart). Only 24% said their interest had waned.
The yellow chart to the left shows that most people who are still excited about the film are die-hard fans. Of those who haven’t lost interest, nearly two-thirds (64%) have seen all the “Bond” movies.
When we look at the folks who say they are losing interest (blue chart to the right), we see that most of this group comprises more casual fans – people who have seen most or some of the “Bond” films. This suggests that going forward United Artists should pay special attention to getting the casual fans back on board.
To that end, the campaign has been excruciatingly quiet. We got the last trailer almost exactly a year ago. Even the theme song performed by Billie Eilish came and went last year. Heck, the song already won a Grammy. Without new marketing muscle, it’s no wonder people have begun to lose interest.
We can see that below when we look at awareness over time. For the sake of comparison, we’re charting TIME (brown) against two other non-superhero, large budget films: F9 (dark yellow) and GODZILLA VS. KONG (light yellow). Both the comps had awareness near or at 60% by opening, while TIME has languished in the mid-30s for over a year.
What now? At some point, the campaign will pick up again. And when it does, the hope is that the more casual fans will be re-energized about the film. But none of that can happen unless United Artists starts giving us all another reason to be excited.