The coronavirus, in addition to claiming lives worldwide, is also wrecking the world economy, sinking the stock market to it’s lowest peak since the financial crisis hit in 2008.

It is also affecting the box office as well.

China, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, has seen moviegoing plummet.

Variety is reporting that its box office has lost up to $214 million in the past two months compared to a year ago.

January 2020 box office receipts have totaled only $31.3 million. It made $217 million in the same period last year and $241.6 million in 2018.

The virus is not just affecting theaters in the country.

The Chinese government is putting a number of restrictions on the Chinese film industry. Also according to Variety…

Cinema operators must seek approval from the authorities to re-open movie theaters and adopt stringent measures such as selling tickets on alternate rows, requiring movie-goers to register with their real names and personal details, and auditoriums to be thoroughly disinfected after each screening.

Film crews with less than 50 people can resume filming in Beijing if they are approved, but only if their body temperature does not exceed 37.3 degree celsius. All film crew members must wear masks throughout the production, except for performers.

But film crews with more than 50 people will not be allowed to resume filming in Beijing until the plague is gone. Crew members traveling from affected areas such as Hubei province are not allowed to take part in any production in the city.

China is a major market and the numbers are actually worse for Hollywood when you take into account that the studios only take home 25% of receipts from theaters there, as opposed to around 50% or so from ones here in America.

Mulan, based on a Chinese legend, is expected to be a big hit in China as well as the rest of Asia. You now have to start wondering if delaying its releases in that part of the world would be a good idea for Disney.

No Time To Die opens around the same time. MI6-HQ, the largest James Bond fansite in the world and writer of a number of books on the series, has put out an open letter asking the film’s producer, Eon, and distributors, MGM and Universal, to delay the release of the film due to concerns about corona.  

So if you’re not worried about the virus, yet, Hollywood probably is.

The coronavirus could turn movies from blockbusters to bombs.