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China's film industry will struggle to recover from coronavirus shutdown

Screens have been dark since Lunar New Year while people watch pirated versions

| China
Liu Yifei at the premiere for Mulan in Los Angeles on March 9: The growing impact of coronavirus will likely hurt Disney's box office ambition.   © Reuters

Disney has poured $200 million into its live-action remake of Mulan, about a young Chinese woman who joins the army in her father's place, in hopes of wooing Chinese moviegoers. The film features an all-Asian cast and Disney even cut a romantic scene for the local audience. But the growing impact of coronavirus will likely trample Disney's box office ambition, just as it is trampling China's.

After a monthlong shutdown, Chinese authorities have announced guidelines for movie theaters and film studios to resume business operations. However, the film industry has shown minimal reaction, largely waiting for the storm to pass and contemplating its next move.

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