No Time to Die to get China release, Variety says

No Time to Die will be released in China, Variety reported, citing official local media.

Getting a release in the world’s most populous nation will provide an opportunity to boost the movie’s global box office. Studios only keep 25 percent of the box office take in China. But the country is such a huge market, it’s considered a plus.

No specific date has been determined for the movie’s release in China, Variety said.

The 25th James Bond film is the most expensive in the series produced by Eon Productions. No Time to Die’s production costs approached $290 million as of mid-2020, according to a U.K. regulatory filing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the movie to be delayed three times. It’s now set to come out in the U.K. and other countries late this month and on Oct. 8 in the United States.

The pandemic has held down movie attendance generally.

The highest global box office so far this year was generated by F9: The Fast Saga, with almost $711 million. In pre-pandemic 2019, the No. 1 global box office was Avengers: Endgame at almost $2.8 billion.

No Time to Die will be released in theaters exclusively. Recent marketing efforts, including a new U.S. ad that debuted Sept. 9, have emphasized that aspect heavily.

Coronavirus outbreak in China may affect NTTD

No Time to Die teaser poster

The coronavirus epidemic, which has caused more than 1,600 deaths in China, may have an effect on No Time to Die, The Sunday Times said.

About 70,000 theater screens in China have been closed because of the epidemic, The Sunday Times said. Authorities from multiple countries are fighting to contain the epidemic.

“No Time to Die, due for UK release on April 3, will be Daniel Craig’s last as 007 and was expected to be the highest-grossing Bond movie to date,” The Sunday Times said. “But with revenue from the Chinese market in doubt this is now seen as unlikely.”

Skyfall, released in 2012, had a global box office of $1.1 billion and is the top-grossing Bond film unadjusted for inflation.

China is the world’s second-largest movie market. Studios look to China for a major part of their global revenue from major films. The Screen Rant website listed 15 examples where movies made changes to ensure a China release.

UPDATE (10:10 p.m., New York time): China had a box office of $59.3 million for Skyfall, according to Box Office Mojo. China accounted for $83.5 million for 2015’s SPECTRE, which had a global box office of $880.7 million.

Without China, Skyfall was still a billion-dollar movie. Without China, SPECTRE would have fallen short of $800 million. China provided a decent amount of the box office for both films but SPECTRE was more reliant on China than Skyfall was.

UPDATE II (3:55 p.m., Feb. 16): Deadline: Hollywood published a story. No Time to Die’s China premiere and publicity tour have been scrapped. The story notes that Chinese theaters are closed indefinitely while the country tries to contain the disease. On Feb. 15, CNBC had a story that U.S. officials don’t trust China to provide accurate information about the epidemic.

Daily Show does a (sort of) double 007

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show did a (sort of) double 007 on its Jan. 24 edition.

First up: a clip from 1964’s Goldfinger, where James Bond (Sean Connery) was at the mercy of Auric Goldfinger, used as a joke during a segment concerning severe air pollution in China.

Host Jon Stewart made the point that Americans ought not be afraid of a nation of people who have become “instant smokers” because of China’s air pollution problems.

“We’ve got to stop being afraid of China and just think of them as another wheezing smoker,” Stewart said. “Very hard to be an evil arch villain with a heavy smoker’s cough.” That’s when the Goldfinger clip (Bond about to be dissected by Goldfinger’s laser beam) pops up. Stewart then talks about what it would have been like if Goldfinger kept hacking and couldn’t say, “No, I expect you to die.”

The second: Stewart’s featured guest was actor Christopher Walken, who played villain Max Zorin in 1985’s A View to a Kill, the final Roger Moore 007 film. No mention of Bond came up. But Walken is an interesting guy (among other things he mentioned how he still doesn’t use computers and doesn’t have his own cell phone) and the segment went by quickly.

You can CLICK HERE to see the entire Jan. 24 show. The Goldfinger gag comes up around the 11:24 mark. The Walken interview comes up at the 14:55 mark.