Coronavirus Could Sink 2020 Box Office to Below $8 Billion for First Time in 20 Years

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There is no historical precedent for the financial drain that the coronavirus is about to do to the movie business, but multiple box office and financial analysts told TheWrap that the growing wave of theater closures and postponed film releases may sink 2020 domestic grosses to levels not seen since the turn of the 21st century. Domestic grosses for 2020 may well sink below $8 billion for the first time since 2000, analysts said, while admissions may fall below 1 billion tickets sold for the first time since 1976. This past weekend, overall grosses dropped 45% from the previous weekend, to $55.3 million, lower than even the box office weekends following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. To find a total that low, we have to go back all the way to Halloween weekend of 1998, when overall ticket sales fell to $50.8 million before inflation adjustment. With the postponement of “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Mulan,” two films that were expected to drive springtime moviegoing, those numbers are going to sink even lower even if some theaters manage to stay open. Others, however, said that trying to put any sort of estimates on how big the drop...

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