- China’s 70,000 movie theaters have been closed since January and the Chinese box office had dropped by nearly $2 billion in the first two months of the year.
- Hollywood movies have already been impacted by the coronavirus, as “No Time to Die” and “Peter Rabbit 2” have been delayed and production on the next “Mission: Impossible” was halted in Italy.
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As China’s 70,000 movie theaters remain closed due to coronavirus concerns, Americans are divided over whether the same should happen in the US.
The Morning Consult , in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter, surveyed 2,200 US adults last week and found that 44% of them would oppose movie theaters temporarily shutting down across the country, while 38% would support the measure.
China’s film industry has already taken a dramatic hit. Theaters closed in January during the weekend of the Chinese New Year, which is typically the region’s biggest time for moviegoing. In the first two months of the year, the Chinese box office was down by nearly $2 billion compared to the same time period last year. Italy’s movie theaters are also closed as the country undergoes a major shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization classified as a pandemic on Wednesday, has killed more than 4,300 people worldwide , infected 121,500, and spread to more than 100 countries. 31 people have died in the US as of Wednesday.
no time to die
Theater closures in the US would further hurt the global box office but Hollywood is already feeling the impact of the coronavirus.
The James Bond movie “No Time to Die” was pushed back from April to November and “Peter Rabbit’s” European release was delayed until August, with other markets to follow. Production on the next “Mission: Impossible” movie, slated for release next year, was recently halted in Italy.
Hollywood movies with global appeal, particularly in China, will feel the effects. This week’s superhero movie “Bloodshot,” starring Vin Diesel, won’t be opening in China, where Diesel is a major star. And Disney’s “Mulan” remake, which hits theaters in the US and other territories on March 27, will for the time being miss out on what could have been a big chunk of its box office.
“The longer this tragic situation continues, the greater the impact will be on all of the studios, their movies, and indeed all of the arts in China,” Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst, told Business Insider last month. “Of course, there will still be a natural hesitation to avoid public spaces even when the situation is contained, so release dates for the 2020 overall movie slate in China could change dramatically.”
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