China has been one of the fastest growing movie markets in the world, but the coronavirus may change that permanently according to a new report.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus has impacted theaters, with many notable companies, including, AMC nearing bankruptcy as result of the being forced to close for long periods of time. A new survey reveals that it’s not only United States theaters that have been hit hard, but Chinese based theaters have additionally been hit, impacting the second largest box office market in the world. The survey, which was jointly done by the China Film Association (CFA) and the China Film Distribution and Screening Association, “shows that at the end of March, 20% of the theaters had laid off staff. Most of these layoff theaters are small and medium-sized cinemas with less than 1,000 seats.”
The economic consequences of the shutdown are so great that almost half of Chinese theaters are expected to close, “As many as 42% of theaters believe that they are at risk of ‘closing the door’; only 10% of theaters are likely to change hands and continue to operate.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, China had the largest amount of theaters in the world with an estimated 70,000 screens, meaning that as many as 30,000 of those could be eliminated within the coming months. This will change the film industry as we know it as many high profile companies such as Disney have changed their business model to include the Chinese market.