With the approach of Lunar New Year, the long holiday period in China, Chinese film releases have been canceled due to the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.

Chinese New Year week, which begins on January 25, is usually the most important for the country’s film industry in terms of revenue, sometimes reaching as much as $ 1 billion. Only Chinese films are released this week, to allow them a monopoly on the market. This Saturday, January 25, therefore, were to release the biggest films in the country of the year 2020 – problem, the programming was canceled due to the epidemic of coronavirus which currently affects the country.

With now 600 people affected and 17 dead, medical experts have advised people to avoid confined spaces, which therefore includes cinemas. The decision was taken knowingly by the country’s major production studios, whose shares for several of them fell drastically on the stock market following the announcement.

Risks of propagations

According to The Hollywood Reporter , among the planned releases were the sequel to the action comedy Detective Chinatown 3 by Wanda, the blockbusters Lost in Russia , Leap by Huanxi Media, and The Rescue by Dante Lam. As of Wednesday, January 22, more than $ 52 million in tickets had been sold for Saturday’s new releases. Some cinemas have, however, reimbursed tickets for consumers who preferred to stay at home.

The Chinese New Year holiday should be an additional risk, as locals travel across the country to go on vacation or to find their loved ones, thus increasing the possibility of spread.

The films, meanwhile, are expected to find new release dates later in the year.