Due to Mexico’s recent outbreak of Swine Flu — a lethal sickness stemming from pig populations — several establishments in Mexico City are set to close, including movie theaters. And the results of said closures could be catastrophic for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s” box office numbers in the country.
“Scores of screens owned by exhibitors Cinepolis, Cinemex, Cinemas Lumiere and Cinemark have gone dark and the remaining chains and indies are expected to follow suit,” reports Variety. “The theaters are responding to a request from Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who has also asked that other public places, such as bars and restaurants, close shop in an attempt to contain the outbreak that had claimed 150 lives by Monday. Schools and public transport have already shuttered.”
A representative for Twentieth Century Fox tells People that government responses to the epidemic will result in the postponement of a planned premiere of “Wolverine” this Wednesday, which star Hugh Jackman was expected to attend.
“We were not only concerned about Hugh’s welfare — and we would never send anyone into harm’s way — but we also have an enormous office filled with people we care about,” said the representative. “There was no point in proceeding under the current conditions.”
The representative added that the premiere could be rescheduled, though it’s entirely likely that the event will be canceled altogether. Jackman is still expected to attend tonight’s Tempe, AZ, debut of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” despite the state’s proximity to the Mexican border.
Have you or anyone you know been effected by the Swine Flu outbreak? How do you think the epidemic will effect “Wolverine’s” box office in Mexico? Share your thoughts in the comments.