The coronavirus disease COVID-19 affected many aspects of people’s lives all over the world. Air carriers, the tourism industry, and the entertainment industry, primarily the film industry, were hugely affected as well. Let's take a look at how the movie industry is surviving the coronavirus pandemic.
In China, cinemas were closed at the end of January 2020. By mid-March 2020, cinemas had already been closed in China, the USA, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Denmark, Norway, Greece, the Czech Republic, Brazil, and a lot of other countries.
However, this was not only due to government bans. Even before the official quarantine, cinema attendance had fallen dramatically in some countries and local theaters were seeing drop in ticket sales, because people began to avoid movie theaters, considering them to be places where it was very likely to become infected.
At the beginning of March, the losses of the global film industry were estimated at $5 billion, not even taking into account the losses caused by from advertising campaigns that were carried out but did not work.
It was practically pointless to release previously planned films in such conditions, and major film studios began to postpone release dates to later dates in 2020, and even 2021.
The postponement of anticipated releases to the end of the year will entail the displacement of subsequent films, which is another loss.
Why can’t film studios move movie releases to digital platforms?
Making movie releases appear on streaming services and online might seem like the simplest solution, especially since most large companies already have their own streaming services.
But firstly, large companies have signed long-term contracts with film distributors in different countries of the world. Their cancellation, even caused by force majeure circumstances, will undoubtedly lead to penalties, lawsuits, and reputational damage.
Secondly, and even more importantly, the fees of many blockbusters of recent years have exceeded the mark of $1 billion. Not a single streaming service, no matter how popular it is, can provide such profits.
Here’s a list of the most anticipated movie premieres that were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic:
A Quiet Place: Part II
John Krasinski, the fantastic director of this horror movie where his wife, Emily Blunt, plays the leading role, decided to postpone the release of the motion picture until better times. The new date has not been announced yet.
The horror film from Lionsgate was postponed. It was scheduled to be released on April 24.
The filming in New Zealand is suspended, the group returns to Los Angeles. The release of the picture was scheduled for December 17, 2021.
The long-awaited film about the audience's favorite Natasha Romanova, which aimed at collecting more than $1 billion, was postponed from May 1, 2020. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, all of whose films are connected, potentially could suffer more than other Disney franchises, because the postponement of one film drags down the entire lineup.
The filming of a new adaptation of Cinderella with Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello in the lead role was suspended by Sony. The filming was held in the UK, and the release of the film was previously planned for January 5, 2021.
In Australia, the filming of a motion picture about Elvis Presley, directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby), has been suspended. The actor and singer Austin Butler plays Elvis in the film.
F9 (Fast & Furious 9)
Universal Pictures postponed the new Fast and the Furious straight for a year, to April 2, 2021, instead of May 22, 2020. For a film, the previous part of which collected 75% of the box office outside the US, this is quite logical.
Home Alone reboot for the Disney+ service, the shooting of which should have started in Canada, has been suspended.
Jurassic World: Dominion
Universal temporarily froze work on the third part of Jurassic World, which is scheduled for release on June 11, 2021.
Mission: Impossible 7
Filming the seventh action movie with Tom Cruise, which took place in Italy, has been stopped. The planned release date for the film is July 23, 2021.
The release of the costly live-action adaptation of the 1998 Disney cartoon, that was filmed mainly for the Chinese audience and planned to raise more than $1 billion, was postponed for an unnamed time. The film was originally supposed to be released on March 27, 2020.