Chinese premiere of 'No Time To Die' axed over Coronavirus outbreak

Ben Arnold
Contributor
No Time To Die (Credit: MGM)

The Chinese premiere of new Bond movie No Time To Die has been axed in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The movie's publicity tour has also been postponed, with the majority of China's 70,000 cinemas still closed while Chinese authorities grapple with controlling the spread of the virus.

It joins movies like Dolittle and 1917 in having their premieres cancelled and releases in the world's second biggest movie market significantly delayed.

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According to reports in the Sunday Times, even when the country's screens reopen, it's unlikely doctors will sign off stars like Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris with clearance to travel there on promotional duties.

This could seriously impact studio coffers, with the Bond series being popular in the far east.

Spectre made $83.5 million in China in 2015, the most ever for a Bond movie, while Skyfall made nearly $60 million.

The movie market has been decimated by the closures, which have coincided with the Chinese New Year, during which cinema attendance usually rockets.

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Figures in THR put box office grosses at just $2 million over the holiday, compared with $507 million during the same period last year.

Nearly 1700 people have died from the virus, with 69,000 confirmed cases. Only 500 cases have been tracked outside China, and only four deaths recorded.

No Time To Die is Daniel Craig's last Bond movie, having appeared in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.

After a rocky start, during which director Danny Boyle exited production, Cary Fukunaga, director of Beasts of No Nation, took the reigns of the 25th movie in the Bond series.

Also starring Rami Malek, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Lea Seydoux, Ana De Armas, Lashana Lynch, David Dencik, Billy Magnussen, and Dali Benssalah, it lands in the UK on 4 April.