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Sonic the Hedgehog Film's Opening in Japan Delayed

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
New opening date not yet decided

Towa Pictures announced on Friday that it is delaying the opening of Paramount Pictures' Sonic the Hedgehog film in Japan, in order to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The film was originally scheduled to open in Japan on March 27 (under the title Sonic the Movie). Towa Pictures has not yet revealed a new release date.

Other films that have delayed openings in Japan include: Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Kyoryū (originally slated for March 6), Shimajirō to Sora Tobu Fune (originally scheduled for February 28), Gekijōban Ultraman Taiga: New Gene Climax (originally scheduled for March 6), Disney's Onward (originally scheduled for March 13), Disney's live-action Mulan (originally scheduled for April 17), and Dolittle (originally slated for March 20).

Sonic the Hedgehog earned US$70,002,074 to rank #1 over its Presidents' Day holiday opening weekend from February 14 to 17 in the United States. The movie has earned US$131,941,855 in the United States as of Wednesday, and has a worldwide gross of US$273,028,915.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on February 27 that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. In March, venues and events such as Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puro Land, NAMJATOWN, and AnimeJapan are canceled or temporarily closed.

As of Thursday, the WHO reported that Japan has 317 cases of the virus with six deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 706 infected passengers and six deaths.

The first reported cases of the COVID-19 disease were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The WHO declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Thursday, the WHO reported that there are 95,333 infected individuals worldwide, with 80,565 of them in China. 3,015 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO raised its global risk assessment over the virus from "high" to "very high" on February 28.

Source: Cinema Today (入倉功一)


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