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China censors clear the path for 'No Time To Die' release

10-Sep-2021 • No Time To Die

It was confirmed today by official Chinese media that 'No Time To Die' has been passed by the country's censorship bureau and now has a path to being released.

MI6 understands that a digital copy of 'No Time To Die' was already with Chinese censors back in March 2020, ahead of its originally planned release, before the pandemic shut everything down. It has not been confirmed if any edits were made to the film to satisfy Communist Party requirements.

A release in China will not be that straightforward or as lucrative as the trade press make out.

For starters, there is a Western film blackout during the first week of October where cinemas can only show pro-China movies. That pushes 'No Time To Die' into the second week of October for China at the earliest. The issue with that window is that the film will already have opened in neighbouring territories such as Hong Kong and Taiwan and piracy is bound to be rampant after two weeks, damaging the potential earnings in mainland China.

Secondly, Chinese box-office receipts are not worth as much as anywhere else. Whereas the studio will take approximately 50% of every ticket sold around the world, China only sends 25% of its revenue back to MGM/Universal. Back in 2015, 'SPECTRE' took $84 at the box-office in China, but this was only worth $21m in real money to the studio. Therefore, whilst it is welcome news, a China release is not the silver bullet to solving 'No Time To Die's incredibly uphill challenge to recoup its approximate costs of $464m.

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