Coronavirus Outbreak Has Put Steven Soderbergh's 'Contagion' In The Top 10 On iTunes

Contagion, the excellent and terrifying Steven Soderbergh film where Gwyneth Paltrow has her face peeled down in graphic detail during an autopsy, is back in the top 10...for horrifying reasons. As news of the deadly Coronavirus continues to spread, people have been inspired to revisit Soderbergh's anxiety-inducing thriller about a Chinese-born virus that spreads worldwide, resulting in the film ending up in the top 10 on the iTunes movie rental chart.


In Contagion, Gwyneth Paltrow plays an American woman who returns from a business trip in Hong Kong with flu-like symptoms. Paltrow's illness isn't the flu, though, and before anyone knows what's happening, a deadly virus is spreading across the world. It's a harrowing, intense movie – and it's once again gaining attention, thanks to terrifying current events.

In December of last year, "A new coronavirus...was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, after people developed pneumonia without a clear cause and for which existing vaccines or treatments were not effective." Since then, the virus has spread to several countries across Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific, with (as of this writing) 6,171 confirmed cases, and 132 deaths.

The news of the virus has apparently inspired people to revisit Contagion, because viewers apparently want more misery and terror in their lives. According to THR, the film entered the top 10 on the iTunes movie rental chart on Tuesday, coming in at number 10. That puts it in a line-up with far more recent films like JokerOnce Upon a Time in HollywoodParasite, and Hustlers. THR adds that "Google searches regarding Contagion's availability via streaming began spiking late last week. By Monday, it rested at No. 13 on the iTunes chart before landing at No. 10 the next day."

I don't want to make light of this situation since the coronavirus is very real and killing people. But still, it's a bit surreal to see that this is how people are reacting to the outbreak – revisiting a 2011 movie directed by Steven Soderbergh. What a strange era we find ourselves in.