Italy Closes Theaters Due to Coronavirus, Box Office Suffers
By Allyson Vannatta, Staff Writer
Italy joined China over the weekend and shut all theater doors due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, causing ticket sales and the box office to plummet.
The Italian government decreed that all theaters, museums, shows and cultural sites, be shut down, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The decree comes on the heels of a quarantine measure in Northern Italy, the region hardest hit by the virus.
Along with the above mentioned, restaurants, bars, sporting events, discos, and bingo halls are all shut down. If a restaurant or bar is able to stay open, people are told to stay at least 3 feet away from one another in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Italy is second to China with the spread of the virus, with more than 7,300 confirmed cases, and 366 deaths.
The total box office revenue reported from Italy from this last weekend (March 5-8) was a mere $503,000. This a 79 percent drop for week-on-week box office and a 95 percent drop from the same weekend last year, said the Hollywood Reporter.
The second-hardest hit nation in Europe, France, also released new restrictions on Sunday. Gatherings of more than 1,000 people are banned until April 15.
The international series festival, Series Mania, in Lille has not been canceled yet and is still set to take place March 20-29.
Many people have voiced concern about the popular Cannes Film Festival, expected to kick off May 12.
However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “On Friday, Cannes sought to assuage concerns, insisting the festival would proceed as planned and will unveil its lineup April 16 as scheduled.”
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