'Unprecedented:' Release of New James Bond Film Delayed Significantly by Coronavirus Concerns


The release of the latest James Bond film has been delayed as authorities across the globe grapple with fears about how to contain the coronavirus.

The film, which is titled “No Time to Die,” was originally slated for a release on April 10, but the premiere has been pushed back by more than seven months.

The film’s official Twitter account announced the delay on Wednesday.

“MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020.” the post read.

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The film will now be released on Nov. 12 in the U.K. and on Nov. 25 in the U.S., CNN reported.

“Like every other global company, we’re looking at the marketplace and we’re trying to understand where the markets are down,” an MGM spokesperson told CNN Business.

“A huge percentage of theaters around the world are unavailable for this film,” the spokesperson added.

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As CNN noted, behind the U.S., China has the world’s second-largest movie market.

Many theaters in China are closed due to the outbreak of the virus, as are theaters in South Korea, Japan and Italy, where a high number of infections have been reported.

Deadline reported that filmgoers should brace for similar delays of other movies, as more studios are sure to follow suit.

“Get ready for a big domino effect when it comes to rival studios following MGM/Eon/Universal’s example in re-scheduling their day-and-date event pics,” the entertainment outlet noted.

The delay of the 25th film in the James Bond franchise is “is purely an economic decision.”

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The last four James bond films, which have all starred leading man Daniel Craig, have grossed an international total of $3.2 billion.

According to MGM, in a marketplace where film fans might be apprehensive about congregating at theaters due to the virus, the same level of success for “No Time to Die” does not seem “achievable for the film.”

A delay of such a high-profile film is unusual.

“To move [the Bond premiere] with weeks to go until its release is unprecedented,” Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore told CNN Business.

Entertainment industry attorney Schuyler Moore told the Hollywood publication Variety that “the last thing people are going to want to do is sit in a theater with a bunch of coughing people.”

“That’s just not going to happen.”

The announcement of the delayed Bond film comes the same day as Amazon Studios announced it would not be attending the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, amid concerns about the coronavirus, according to CNET.

Representatives for Facebook, TikTok and Twitter had previously said their companies would also refrain from attending the event, citing concerns over spreading COVID-19.

To date, 95,479 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, and 3,285 people have died from the virus.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.