Coronavirus: Germany Moving Toward Total Lockdown

PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images

Germany's biggest cities have introduced restrictions on public gatherings, including the shutdown of cinemas, while the country introduces controls on its borders to France, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland.

Germany is following other major European countries in broadly shutting down public life to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Germany imposed temporary controls on its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg and several German states have tightened restrictions on public gatherings.

On Monday, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich followed Berlin's lead in shutting down cinemas, bars and other businesses where large groups could assemble, potentially spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Italy, Spain and France, along with smaller territories including the Netherlands and Ireland, have already completely shut down most public businesses, with exceptions being made for grocery stores, banks and pharmacies.

While Germany's shutdown is not yet nationwide, the coronavirus crisis has already had a dramatic impact on the country's box office. Cinema attendance across the country over the past weekend fell to an all-time low for March, with just 365,000 tickets sold, a 75 percent week-on-week drop. The number one title, local-language comedy Die Känguru-Chroniken, sold 90,000 tickets for a $861,000 (700,000 euros) gross. It was the only film to sell more than 50,000 tickets.

The Invisible Man (40,000 viewers, $391,000), Nightlife (33,000 viewers, $330,000), Pixar's Onward (33,000, $296,000) and Vin Diesel actioner Bloodshot (22,500, $235,000) made up the rest of the tepid top 5.

The U.K. remains the only major European market still theoretically open for business, though COVID-19 concerns could lead to a broader shutdown there as well. British box office is also expected to have fallen off precipitously as consumers heed government advice to avoid large gatherings and public places.