By Ethan Cannistra
The coronavirus is quickly changing the lives of people around the world. Individuals are being confined to their homes and are being encouraged to practice social distancing. Industries around the globe are being affected by the pandemic and are losing a significant amount of money. The entertainment industry is no exception. Every day, film studios are delaying the release of their latest films and postponing the production of their upcoming movies. Television is also being heavily impacted. Several networks have halted production on their current seasons. As a result of all of this, the entertainment industry is expected to lose an estimated five billion dollars this year.
Several film studios have already delayed some of their most anticipated projects of the year. Paramount was originally going to release A Quiet Place 2 on March 19, but they have delayed the film indefinitely. Disney originally planned for their live action Mulan remake to be released in March and for New Mutants to be released in April. However, both of these films have been moved to an undisclosed future release date. Universal also intended to release the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast 9, on May 22 but it will now be released on April 2, 2021. Studios moving their release dates will continue to be a trend, as long as the coronavirus is prevalent.
Movie theaters around the country are shutting down as a result of the virus. Regal Cinemas announced that they would be closing indefinitely and AMC Theaters said that they would be closed for six to twelve weeks. All theaters in New York, California, Maryland, Washington D.C. and several other states around the country are being forced to shut down. In the states where theaters have not been forced to close, they are practicing social distancing by limiting capacity to fifty percent. Movie theaters shutting down around the country has resulted in historically low box office results. This weekend the box office grossed a total of 55.3 million dollars, the lowest result since September of 2000. As a result of films making less than expected, the studios are looking for new ways to distribute their movies.
In an unexpected move, Universal has decided to release several of their recently released films for on demand rental starting Friday. The films include The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma. It will cost 20 dollars for a 48-hour rental. Universal also announced that they would be releasing Trolls World Tour in theaters and on demand on April 10.
The coronavirus is not only affecting the film industry. Television shows from all networks have delayed production. Networks such as NBC, ABC, Fox, and several others have said that they are halting production of their current seasons. While episodes already filmed will still air, it is unclear when series that have not concluded their season will be able to finish.
The coronavirus will have a very large effect on the entertainment industry. Movie theaters being closed means that the studios cannot make money from their films. It could also result in several movie theaters closing such as the historic Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. The results of the television industry holding production will not be known for a few months. However, the results will be clearly seen when the fall season starts. If production cannot continue soon, the networks will have no shows to air until later in the year. The effect of coronavirus is changing the way that entertainment companies around the world operate their business.