Coronavirus fear is now infecting the film industry.
According to a new report by Variety, producers canceled films, and box office revenues dropped for a second weekend.
Box office ticket sales fell by 10% compared to the last weekend, which already follows a slow time in the film industry.
In South Korea, filmmakers are delaying the release of movies. The Ukrainian animation “The Stolen Princess,” which producers rescheduled to release on February 5 is no longer premiering until further notice.
The effects of the deadly Coronavirus are now impacting China’s box office. Theaters are forced to shut down, and Chinese movie premieres were canceled during the Lunar New Year holiday season.
Millions of people on lockdown in Wuhan, the area where the epidemic is believed to have originated, and the shutting down of theaters across the nation could depress ticket sales for American-made movies.
Those movies whose theatrical releases that producers indefinitely postponed include Oscar nominees “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” and “1917”.
Disney’s live action-remake ‘Mulan,’ is arguably one of the biggest movies, which could be impacted by the Coronavirus. ‘Mulan’ hits theaters on March 27 in the United States. The film is to make its China debut around the same time before the virus impacted China’s film industry.
China took home $9 billion in movie ticket sales last year, which is nearly a quarter of the total global box office earnings.
To combat the economic impact of the Coronavirus, some studios are putting their productions straight to streaming services. However, theaters are protesting the implications of moving the entire film industry onto streaming devices to avoid box office disappointments.
Disney closed Shanghai and Hong Kong resorts to stop the spread of the virus. Closures are costing the company $175 million in operating income. “We already see a significant decrease in visitation to Hong Kong Disneyland from China and other parts of Asia,” McCarthy said on the call.
The New York Times reports the death toll has reached a new high with at least 1,113 but, Chinese officials say the infection rate is starting to slow down.