Coronavirus Could Cause $5 Billion Loss For Global Box Office

In 2019, movies made $42.5 billion worldwide, but that figure is expected to be much lower this year.


One of the industries impacted by the new virus COVID-19 is the film industry, which is expected to suffer massive losses as would-be moviegoers stay home instead of going to the cinema. [Update: In related news, the release of No Time to Die has been delayed from April all the way to November.]

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the global box office will take a $5 billion hit due to the global virus. In 2019, movies collectively made $42.5 billion around the world, including an all-time record from international markets of $31.1 billion.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Best Things To Stream For March 2020 - Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

The COVID-19 virus has thus far spread to more than 90,000 cases worldwide, and has killed more than 3,000 people globally. Half of those who have been infected have recovered. The virus emerged in China, which is where the bulk of the cases and deaths have been reported.

Movie theatre chains in China have been closed since January, with some 70,000 theatres closing up due to concerns around the virus. China is the world's second-largest movie market, only behind the United States. To put the impact of the virus on box office results into perspective, total box office results in China for the January 24-February 23 Chinese New Year period came to $4.2 million, which is down massively from $1.76 billion from the same period a year prior.

Box office results in other international markets experiencing significant virus outbreaks, including South Korea and Italy, have also tumbled.

"The atmosphere of fear is palpable," a spokesperson for South Korea's CGV movie chain told THR. "The situation is similar to what we've seen during the spread of swine flu in 2009 when there were 80,000 infected cases in Korea."

Some movie distributors are cancelling promotional events due to the coronavirus, as the cast of No Time To Die will no longer appear at events in China. Additionally, the largest 007 fansite has called on the producers of the movie to delay the film due to the virus.

The full story at THR is incredibly in-depth, covering many angles and offering deep insight into the impact of the virus on the global movie market. Go read it.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 9 comments about this story