Sales of 2011 Pandemic Thriller 'Contagion' Surge Amid Coronavirus Fears

March 5, 2020
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In addition to hand sanitizer and face masks, a nine-year-old movie is receiving an uptick in sales due to fears associated with the coronavirus.

The 2011 thriller “Contagion,” which deals with the spread of a worldwide pandemic, has seen a drastic rise in popularity in the weeks since news of COVID-19 intensified in America.

At the end of last year, “Contagion” ranked as the 270th most popular film in the Warner Bros. catalog. According to the New York Times, it’s now the second-most watched movie behind the “Harry Potter” franchise. The Steven Soderbergh film is also trending on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet, the medical drama details the spread of a mysterious disease after a woman contracts the illness in Hong Kong and returns to the United States.

While the plot appears to mimic our current situation with the coronavirus, the film’s writer believes our hysteria is also what needs to be watched closely.

“What is more important and accurate is the societal response and the spread of fear and the knock-on effects of that,” Scott Burns told Fortune. “That is proving to be accurate.”

Last week, Paltrow contributed to the renewed interest in the film by sharing a photo of herself decked out in a protective mask. “I’ve already been in this movie. Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently,” she captioned the image on Instagram.

On Wednesday, a man who tested positive for COVID-19 after a cruise became the first person in California to die from the coronavirus outbreak.

There have been 10 other deaths in the U.S. from the virus, all in Washington state.

Around the world, there have been more than 94,000 infections and 3,200 deaths.

Experts say avoiding infection means washing your hands, including the tips of your fingers, for 20 seconds, keeping your hands away from your face and sneezing into the crook of your arm and not into your hands.

If you are brave enough to watch, “Contagion” is currently airing on Cinemax or can be rented for $3.99 on Amazon and iTunes.

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