China’s Entertainment Sector Suffers Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Delayed release dates and stalled projects are likely to hurt the country’s TV and film industry like never before, insiders say.

Photo: Wanda Cinema Line

China’s television and film industry is facing a harsh winter, as several high-profile projects have postponed their releases amid the novel coronavirus crisis that has disrupted normal business operations by keeping millions of people indoors.

Two Chinese films, “The Enigma of Arrival” and “Wild Grass,” have indefinitely delayed their scheduled Feb. 14 premieres. Nearly a dozen other movies slated for release on Valentine’s Day — a plum premiere for many studios — are also expected to announce later releases.

Apart from domestic movies, several foreign films were scheduled to be released this month, including the critically acclaimed “Marriage Story” as well as “Sonic the Hedgehog,” according to American entertainment outlet Variety. Other Hollywood productions such as “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” and “1917” had already announced delays for their China releases.

Though there are no official figures, some media estimates suggest that China’s box office is likely to suffer 13 billion yuan ($1.86 billion) in losses in February alone.

The announcements come as more cities across the country are taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that had killed more than 500 people and infected over 28,000 others globally as of Thursday morning. People have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel, mass gatherings, and crowds.

The coronavirus outbreak has unexpectedly impacted China’s entire TV and film industry, said Lü Jianmin, a film producer and founder of the Beijing-based production company Chunqiu Time Film Co. Ltd.

“This is a situation that we have never experienced before,” he told Sixth Tone. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.