Movie fans across the country are eagerly awaiting the chance to see the new James Bond film. But for those in Auckland, lockdown may impact the highly anticipated release next week.
No Time To Die officially hits cinemas on October 7 in New Zealand, after more than a year and a half of release delays.
A spokesperson for Universal Pictures NZ told the Herald:
"No Time to Die will be playing in Auckland as soon as cinemas can safely open in line with Covid alert levels.
Auckland's alert levels are unlikely to impact the nationwide release of the film."
Although there is a possibility Auckland moviegoers could have to wait longer to watch the latest Bond flick, there is greater certainty for fans outside of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Cinemas are all set elsewhere in the country for the release of the spy epic, which will see Daniel Craig play 007 for the last time.
Mark Christensen, of State Cinemas, Nelson, who is also a member of the New Zealand Motion Picture Exhibitors Association executive says:
"Of course we are all hoping to be at level 1 by the time No Time To Die opens next week but we are prepared for running what will be the biggest blockbuster in several years under level 2 conditions."
He says they have a ticketing system in place so customers can book seats for those in their cinema "bubble", and vacant seats are automatically inserted between groups so people are socially distanced.
Before moviegoers head into the cinema, there will be "traffic control" in the foyers, plus mandatory contract tracing and mask requirements.
Despite cinemas being well equipped for alert level changes, he adds staying at alert level 2 would mean fewer sessions of other titles - which could impact movies popular with the school-holiday crowds.
"Under level 2 our seating capacity is reduced to about 70 per cent of normal up to a maximum of 100 so if we are still in level 2 most cinemas would probably put on more sessions of No Time To Die than we normally would," he says.
"That could be an issue given that we will be in the school holidays, which is our peak earning period and where we really do need maximum seating capacity," Christensen adds.
"No Time To Die is exactly the type of movie cinemas need at this time," he says and adds
they are "extremely grateful" the nationwide release date hasn't been delayed again.
Movie fans also have plenty to look forward to over the coming months, as other blockbusters such as Dune and Venom 2 hit the big screens before Christmas.