The forthcoming James Bond film was due to be released 2 April, but in an unprecedented move was bumped to November at the last minute.
MGM now faces the prospect of having wasted millions on promotion for a release date that ended up not happening, including spending $4.5m (£3m) on a Super Bowl advert that was broadcast on US TV screens in February.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, MGM was convinced to delay the film and lose money as they believed even more money would be lost if the release date remained fixed.
More than 70,000 cinemas remain closed in China, considered the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, along with cinemas in Italy and Japan.
Sources told the entertainment newspaper that at least 30 per cent of the film’s box office takings would have been lost due to the widespread closure of cinemas, and MGM decided to swallow the smaller loss instead.
While No Time to Die hadn’t yet launched the majority of its promotional campaign, including junkets and international premieres, some commitments were unable to be changed.
Daniel Craig will still host this weekend’s edition of US sketch show Saturday Night Live. He was in rehearsals for the series when MGM announced the release delay, presumably giving way to a number of jokes at the film’s expense on Saturday night (7 March).
No Time to Die will now be released on 12 November.
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