Studios Stop Release of Box Office Data Amid Pandemic

Movie studios Walt Disney and Universal Pictures said last Thursday they were suspending the release of box office data because of the closure of movie theaters in multiple countries in a bid to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The decision follows the worst weekend in more than two decades at the North American box office last week. Movie studios typically release box office receipts from movie theaters around the world that measure the popularity of their films with the public. 

However, in the past few days movie theater chains in the United States, Canada and Britain have shut down due to bans on large gatherings. Movie theaters in China, Hollywood’s biggest overseas market, have been shuttered for weeks because of the virus. 

Hollywood’s two other main movie studios – Sony Pictures and Warner Bros – did not immediately respond to queries on whether they also planned to stop releasing box office data.

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