Virus epidemic forces 70,000 cinemas to down curtains in China

The epidemic comes at the time of Chinese New Year, the biggest blockbuster period in the world

Hong Kong reported the death of a patient being treated for the virus. Representational image: iStock

In the wake of the deadly virus epidemic in China, about 70,000 movie theatres are being closed down in the neighbouring nation. Cinemas, including Wanda, CGV, Bona, Lumiere Pavillion’s, Jinyi, and Dadi, have publicly announced their decision to temporarily down their curtains in response to the virus outbreak.

The coronavirus epidemic comes at the time of the Chinese New Year, the biggest blockbuster period in the world. In the wake of the outbreak, leading studios of China have cancelled the release of the biggest movies of the year.

The big-budget movies that hit a speed-breaker due to the epidemic includes Wanda’s China Town 3, Huanxi Media’s Lost in Russia, Jackie Chan’s Vanguard and Dante Lam’s The Rescue. The US releases of Chinese New Year films were also postponed, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

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Reports indicate only a few theatres were found having their doors open as on Friday afternoon, but are expected to shut shop soon. Speculations are rife in the industry that the Lunar New Year releases might be rescheduled if there is a considerable improve in the condition.

However, given the steep rise in confirmed cases in the last few days, it doesn’t seem that is going to happen anytime soon. So far, 25 people died and 830 confirmed cases have been reported in China, the government said on Friday. Besides, suspected cases have crossed 1,000 in the central city of Wuhan.

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