China Shuts Down 70,000 Movie Theaters in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, China reportedly has shut down all of its 70, 000 movie theatres so as to contain the spread of the dangerous disease.

According to THR, the country’s leading cinema chains — including Wanda, CGV, Bona, Lumiere Pavilions, Jinyi, Dadi and others — publicly announced that they would be temporarily shutting down in response to the epidemic that has infected hundreds and gripped the nation.

China’s leading films studios canceled their plans to release their biggest movies of the year during the kickoff to the Lunar New Year holiday on Friday and Saturday. However a few theatres were still open as of midday Friday, local time, but they were expected to close soon.

The report continues:

Chinese New Year is the biggest blockbuster period in the world by far, and the coming week had been projected to generate as much as $1 billion in ticket sales revenue. But as the coronavirus outbreak worsened throughout the week, medical experts began warning the public against congregating in crowded places. By Thursday, chances were high that cinemas would go empty even if studios were to hazard going forward with their original release engagements.

There is talk in the industry that the Lunar New Year slate might be rescheduled for later in the holiday — perhaps in three to four days — if public health conditions improve. But with the number of confirmed cases of the virus continuing to surge, optimism remains scarce.

As of Friday, more than 800 people had been infected by the virus globally, and 25 had died by it in China. Eight Chinese cities near the center of the outbreak — home to tens of millions — have been put on lockdown.

We can’t wait to see how this pans out.

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