Seven new releases this week in China have been cancelled due to the epidemic of coronavirus sweeping its people. This decision will be one that will have a substantial effect on the film industry in China as it was predicted that the films would have earned over one billion dollars across the span of a few days.
The film industry do not take the decision on lightly, however, as it was the investors behind the new releases that opted for cancellation rather than a health department. Cinemas are now refunding tickets for those who have cancelled their ticket purchases.
This new strain of coronavirus came to light in Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the beginning of January – it is thought that it emerged from a fresh food market. It was previously believed to have been passed via animals but now, it has become apparent that human-to-human transmission is how the virus has spread so quickly.
It’s not only the film industry that will be devastated by this impact, however, as it is the time of year when China is at its busiest for the Chinese New Year celebrations when over 600 million people were expected to travel there. Travel has been denied now as that would have further increased the risk of outbreak overseas. In the inner city, buses and trains will also be closed from 10am this morning (Thursday 23rd January).
We are keeping everyone effected in our thoughts at this time.