Rentals of Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 viral pandemic thriller “Contagion” have surged in the past week, very likely due to the recent coronavirus outbreak in China.
The film, which isn’t freely available on an SVOD service, recently popped up again on iTunes’ Top Movie List on the app and on the main movie site, up alongside recent first-run titles and Oscar nominees including “Joker,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Parasite” and “Hustlers”. Other pandemic-themed works such as “Outbreak” and the recent mini-series “The Hot Zone” have not seen such high profile lifts.
China tried to contain the coronavirus epidemic last week which has infected more than 7,700 people and killed around 170. It has now spread to every region in mainland China and forced thousands of the country’s cinemas to close their doors over the highly lucrative Chinese New Year holiday.
Infections have also spread to at least sixteen other countries. The virus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan.