The release of the upcoming James Bond film "No Time to Die" has been pushed to November from April. It is the first Hollywood film to shift its global rollout due to the coronavirus outbreak.
MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced on Twitter that "after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace," the film would be postponed until November 2020. The 25th James Bond film was due to be released globally in April.
As the coronavirus began to spread, publicity tours for "No Time To Die" were canceled in China, South Korea and Japan. Its Hong Kong release was also pushed back.
There are concerns that the coronavirus outbreak could hit the film at the box office, as some countries have banned or restricted large public gatherings.
Not to mention, more than 78% of the $881 million box office haul for the previous James Bond movie "Spectre" came from international regions. Notably, the United Kingdom accounted for 15.5% of the film's total ticket sales, Germany was 8.3% and China was 9.7%, according to data from Comscore.
"November has been the traditional home for Bond in the modern era so it makes total sense to move 'No Time To Die' to that new date," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said, "And it's certainly in the best interest of the movie, given the current situation, to get creative and do what needs to be done to ensure the best outcome for the film and for the fans who will just have to wait a bit longer to get a hold of James Bond."
Currently, cinemas across China are shuttered and it's uncertain when they will be reopened. And, if other countries follow suit, that could be bad news for American companies that are set to release massive blockbusters internationally in the coming months.
Disney's "Mulan" has long been expected to perform tremendously well in China, but if theater closures continue, its tally at the box office could take a hit. The live-action film tells the tale of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man in order to enlist in the Imperial Army instead of her ailing father during wartime.
Disney has not said the movie's March release in China has been altered, but analysts are already bracing for the announcement. The biggest worry is that the film will be pirated over the internet, putting a dent in potential ticket sales.
Additionally, U.S. film companies could begin to halt production of movies being shot internationally. Already, Paramount Pictures has halted production of 'Mission: Impossible VII' in Italy due to coronavirus outbreak concerns. Sony Pictures has also temporarily shuttered its offices in London, Paris and Gdynia, Poland due to coronavirus fears.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal is releasing "No Time To Die" internationally while MGM handles the domestic release.