Hollywood is bracing for impact as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt the industry.
China has shut down nearly 70,000 movie theaters, with no plans to re-open until at least April. Overall, about 70% of U.S. box office revenue comes from overseas — with China leading the charge as the world’s second largest box office market.
This week, Paramount (VIAC) confirmed that “Mission: Impossible 7” had to shut down scheduled production shoots in Venice, Italy. Mounting concerns surrounding the virus as reported cases spiked by more than 50% in just 24 hours on Thursday.
“This is an unprecedented and tragic situation — and there's just a huge unknown out there," Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Yahoo Finance.
So far, Italy has over 650 cases — the most in Europe, and fourth behind China, South Korea and Japan.
“During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves,” a Paramount spokesperson told Deadline.
The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has been a crucial money-maker for Paramount — raking in over $3.5 billion for the Hollywood studio.
“Mission: Impossible - Fallout” generated $220 million domestically and $571 million overseas — showcasing just how much cash is generated through foreign markets (roughly 70% of the film’s total box office revenue.)
The news comes just one week after the final installment of the Daniel Craig-led James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die,” cancelled its upcoming Beijing premiere — along with a multi-city press tour — due to “uncertainties” surrounding the outbreak.
‘Unprecedented and tragic’
A PwC report previously predicted that China’s cinema industry was on track to surpass the U.S. this year — although that timeline now seems unlikely given the coronavirus impact.
The closures have had a significant impact on the global box office, with potential losses that could amount to as much as $4 billion by the end of March, according to Deadline.
“The situation — once resolved — will take some time before people feel confident again, and then once they do I think there's going to be a lot of demand for outside-of-the-home activities,” said Comscore’s Dergarabedian said.
“But for now everyone is just in a holding pattern,” he said.
Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193