Global Film Industry Facing $5 Billion Loss Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

China's theaters are closed, while box office revenue in South Korea and Italy has dipped and "the outlook is unpredictable."

In 2019, the international box office soared to a record $31.1 billion, contributing to a worldwide haul of $42.5 billion, likewise an all-time high. But the celebration by the global film industry has quickly been replaced by anxiety because of coronavirus, which many public health officials are now calling a global pandemic — one that could keep populations around the world away from public spaces, like multiplexes, for weeks or months.

As of late Monday, the virus, which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, had infected over 90,000 and claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide. The vast majority of the deaths have been within China, where the virus emerged, but more new cases are now being found outside of the country than within it. South Korea saw its confirmed infections nearly double over the weekend to 4,300.