The spreading coronavirus outbreak is leading many people to avoid activities that require them to gather together in large groups. That's not great news for movie theaters, and it puts two major March releases -- Disney's (NYSE:DIS) "Mulan" and ViacomCBS's (NASDAQ: VIAC) "A Quiet Place Part II" at risk to seriously underperform at the box office.
The studios have stuck to their original U.S. release dates for the films despite concerns about how COVID-19 precautions might impact ticket sales. That's somewhat surprising given that one major movie that had had a planned release date in April-- the James Bond film "No Time to Die" -- has already been postponed to Thanksgiving.
Movie theater sources told Deadline.com that they expect lower turnout for movies in the short term. That could have a major impact on both of these movies, although Disney's film may take less of a hit because it's aimed at least somewhat at children, and movies for kids tend to have longer theatrical runs.