As the coronavirus starts penetrating in many countries around the world, it is affecting more and more film and TV projects. China decides to close down movie theaters and theme parks back in January. It was an effort to contain the outbreak in its country of origin. Some production companies have closed down indefinitely. In South Korea, BTS cancels a concert series in Seoul. They urge their loyal Army fans to not attend promotional events. This will lessen the risk of spreading the virus. The country’s box office revenue takes a huge dip.
China-The Massive Film Market
Now, Hollywood starts to feel the effects of coronavirus, too. As China quickly emerges as a massive film market over the past few years, this is not a piece of good news for the industry. A ‘finance source’ recently says ‘the absence of Chinese theatrical contributions could amount to a $4 billion loss just by the end of March’. Due to this extremely expensive studio films have come to rely on the country’s film fans. To help these massive movies on the scale of Marvel or TheFast Saga into profitability.
A rising question in various circles is how long the situation will continue. One source says, ‘Unfortunately because the problem is so unknown in terms of its degree, we just don’t know how deep we’re in. No one knows’.
Effect on Other Countries of CoronaVirus
In Italy currently, about 50% of cinemas are closed. This includes the Lombardy region, which is home to Milan. Amongst these closures, some studios decide to delay releases of upcoming titles. This includes The Invisible Man (Universal) and Onward (Disney). In the list, there are local films too.
Korea, the fifth-largest box office in the market in the world is also in the same situation. The Korean Film Council says that attendance was sharply down. A challenge, we hear, is fewer screenings because there are longer breaks between shows so that theater teams can sanitize auditoriums.
Hong Kong experiences almost 81% dip in one week, while Singapore by 64%.
Amazon drains on SXSW. The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival should kick off Thursday, but will now be postponed. UniFrance pulls out its annual French film series at Lincoln Center. The MipTV Conference in Cannes cancels away. The new James Bond movie is pushing too late.
While the outbreak can have a dramatic effect on the market at any time of the year, it has docked on the cusp of some major international film events. Each of them surfaces different institutional issues that relate to travel and attendance that will reflect throughout the year.
There will be many movies that will be effected in the future. And the box office will have to suffer a great loss due to this outbreak in the coming days. Let’s hope for the best.
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