All movie theaters in France will be closed from midnight tonight, we have learned. This is a new directive from the French government which yesterday had limited gatherings to no more than 100 people in public places.
This evening’s measures were announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as France passes to Stage 3 — the highest alert as far as we have been told locally — of the coronavirus crisis. This also includes the closure of cafés, restaurants and bars.
After China, where the virus began, Europe has now been declared the epicenter of the COVID-19 propagation. Italy has been in lockdown while Spain declared a state of emergency on Friday, shutting cinemas and limiting movement going forward from Monday. France now appears to be following a similar path.
We here are unsure of the next measures as they change day by day,
Certainly box office will be affected locally and globally, with the latest estimates at a potential worldwide loss of $17B in ticket sales through the next few months.
France was the No. 5 offshore box office market in 2019 and boasts an avid audience. Here on the ground, and in discussions with people in the UK and Spain, moviegoing is not top of mind. The global impact continues, and we’ll have more updates as they come.
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