China has shut down most of its movie theaters in response to the Wuhan coronavirus and it could have massive repercussions on the film industry
The deadly Wuhan coronavirus is taking a toll on China’s film industry as theaters across the country shut down amid the outbreak.
China’s $9.2 billion box-office market, the second-largest in the world, is expected to be hit with massive losses as the bulk of the country’s theaters have shut down in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
he closing of more than 70,000 screens comes during a peak season for movie sales in China as families and friends gather to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Sales topped $1 billion during the holiday week last year and were expected to generate roughly as much this year. But with the official death toll from the virus passing 100, efforts have intensified to limit interaction in crowded public spaces. The economic impact could be devastating, with the potential to drag down global film revenue as much as $2 billion.
US box-office hits like “Jojo Rabbit” and “Little Women” are scheduled to roll out in China in February. Postponements in that month could send shock waves through the calendar, as March releases like Disney’s “Mulan” and the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” vie for limited showtimes.
“The safety of Chinese audiences is our top priority,” Imax said in a press release. “Imax supports the decision to postpone the release of the Chinese New Year film slate and believes it to be the best course of action in an unfortunate situation.”