While the real-world impact of the coronavirus is being felt on a daily basis, it's taking its toll on the movie industry and the global box office.
Just this week alone, 'No Time To Die' pushed its release date back from April 10th to November 12th, a full seven months later. Industry insiders now speculate that the move will end up costing producers $30 million. However, if 'No Time To Die' had pushed ahead with its release date currently, the potential losses would have been far, far worse - somewhere in the region of $300 million.
The main reason for this is, naturally, China and its box office. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, almost 70,000 cinemas in China have been closed to stop the spread of the virus and will remain closed until it's been contained. So far, estimates put the global box office taking a hit of $5 billion and that will only get worse if the panic surrounding it continues. In the months of January and February of this year, the Chinese box office took in just $4.2 million. The same time last year? $1.9 billion. That works out to a drop in revenue of 99.7% in China alone. In South Korea, the drop was somewhere in the region of 80%. In China, there are - as of writing - an estimated 80,552 cases of coronavirus. In South Korea, 6,284 cases have been reported so far.
For 'No Time To Die' specifically, the $30 million loss incurred by moving the date comes from the marketing budget. Ads for the Super Bowl, posters, promotional material and considerations, all listing the date of April 10th are now worthless and will need to be produced yet again. Not only that, marketing agencies around the globe who were banking on an April release date for 'No Time To Die' have to adjust plans accordingly.
Disney's live-action retelling of 'Mulan' has had its box office in China massively impacted. With a production costing close to $200 million, the Chinese premiere of the movie was postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of the virus. So far, Disney have not yet shifted the release date for 'Mulan'. That said, Disney did cancel the European press launch for Disney+ earlier this week, directly citing coronavirus as the reason for the decision.
The virus isn't just infecting release dates and box office figures, either. It's also begun to impact productions in the works. Last week, Paramount suspended production on 'Mission: Impossible 7' with Tom Cruise as Northern Italy - a hotspot for the virus - was one of the filming locations. Undoubtedly, if the outbreak continues, director Christopher McQuarrie will either have to abandon filming in Northern Italy altogether or push back production to allow for it.
As for here in Ireland, coronavirus doesn't appear to have significantly impacted public life, despite high media coverage. Box office figures from the past month do not appear to be trending negatively, however with 13 reported cases of the virus now in Ireland in the past week, audiences could begin to think twice about a trip to the cinema.