The Coronavirus crisis continues to get worse and shows little signs of slowing down. Now, it seems the Chinese box office has become infected, taking a considerable hit as a result of this alarming ordeal.
The Coronavirus has already started affecting the world’s economy, and it was only a matter of time before the film industry started feeling the effects. China, the second-largest moviegoing market on the planet, is now less focused on the next big release, having prioritized their concerns toward public health and safety. This has led to box office losses that have surpassed $200 million and counting.
According to Variety, since the COVID-19 virus first appeared two months ago in Wuhan, China, the country’s box office has lost an estimated total of $214 million. Part of the efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus involves shutting down movie theaters, which has lead to box office receipts totaling a measly $31.3 million for January and February. The deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government, Chen Bei, had this to say on the situation:
“Judging from the current situation, the film industry is not equipped to resume business yet, and we have not approved industry’s demands to resume business as of now.”
Films like Dolittle, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Little Women and Sonic the Hedgehog have all had to delay their release because of the outbreak. Things will continue to get even more distressing, too, as Mulan, No Time To Die, A Quiet Place: Part II and Black Widow are all set to debut in the coming months and their final numbers could be drastically affected by this unfortunate series of events.
And it’s not just the releases that are being impacted, but the productions as well. Film crews consisting of 50 people or less are allowed to shoot in Beijing but under stringent conditions. Elsewhere, Mission: Impossible 7 recently delayed shooting in Italy because of the Coronavirus and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier reportedly had to do some rewrites because of the outbreak.
This frightening situation hasn’t been ruled as a pandemic just yet, but that could still happen if robust action is not taken to contain the virus. Let’s just all hope that this Coronavirus crisis comes to an end very soon before it can do any more damage than it’s already done.