As the coronavirus (aka Covid-19) spreads into Europe, cinemas in some parts of France have been closed for the next two weeks. This concerns the northern Oise area, which is located in the Hauts de France region, as well as the northwest department Le Morbihan located in Brittany. The Louvre museum also saw its second day of closure on Monday amid fears from workers.
France has been raising its alert level in the past few days, with three fatalities and 191 reported cases as of today, the latter representing 61 more overnight.
Le Morbihan had 13 confirmed cases as of latest reports, bringing the total in Brittany to 19. Schools there have been closed until at least March 14, as well as sporting events being cancelled and cinemas offline until the same date. There are more than 20 theaters in the area. L’Oise, which had 47 cases as of Sunday, is one of the most gravely affected and includes about 18 cinemas.
As we have noted previously, the impact of the coronavirus on box office is likely to continue to spread, and its impact — beyond the toll of human life — is being felt on industry business. Already China has been closed for weeks with no foreseeable date to reopen, while the situattion recently escalated in Korea.
Even more recently, Italy became a source of concern. And as we reported last week, if the spread continues on the European continent it will have further impact. French president Emmanuel Macron has cancelled all trips that are not related to coronavirus.
Overall, we are hearing from studios that this is an evolving situation that can change hourly. Already there have been release date changes in some markets, and that is likely to continue.