But mixed reviews online and capacity limits in theaters due to coronavirus prevention measures were likely to weigh on its box office performance, even before major media outlets received a notice telling them to refrain from covering the movie.

Three sources told Reuters media outlets had received the notice, two of whom said it was sent by the Cyberspace Administration of China. A fourth source at a major Chinese newspaper said he received a text message with a similar order from a senior colleague.

No reason was given in the notice, but the sources said they believed it was because of the overseas backlash over the film’s links to Xinjiang.