The release of family film Peter Rabbit 2 has reportedly been delayed until August due to the coronavirus outbreak.
With cinemas in Italy and China, among others, closing in the hope of curbing the spread of the escalating virus, Sony bosses have reportedly decided to put the release of the CGI/live-action film, the follow-up to 2018’s hugely successful Peter Rabbit, on ice for more than four months.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie, also known as Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, will no longer debut from 27 March as planned, and will instead receive an international and U.S. release on 7 August.
The move follows the delay to the release of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, from the start of April until November.
Peter Rabbit 2 features James Corden as the voice of author Beatrix Potter’s mischievous bunny, with Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, and Elizabeth Debicki also voicing fellow rabbits, and Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, and David Oyelowo in live-action roles.
Some of the stars were scheduled to attend a premiere for the movie in London ahead of its release.
The decision comes after Italian officials announced that all its cinemas were to be closed, and other European governments advising people to take precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. Around 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 other provinces in Italy have been effectively placed in quarantine.
Insiders have told editors at The Hollywood Reporter that Sony officials wanted to delay the debut because Peter Rabbit made $236 million (£180 million) of its $351 million (£269 million) box office outside of North America, while the U.S. release has reportedly been shifted to avoid piracy.
Following the postponement of No Time to Die, the release of animated sequel Trolls World Tour was brought forward to 10 April.
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