As we are all aware, the corona virus outbreak has been giving some significant impacts across the world. But, did you notice how much impact that this pandemic has given to the film industry? Lots of movies are officially pushed back, such as “Mulan”, “Fast and Furious 9”, “Black Widow”, and many more. A couple of weeks ago,U.S. movie theaters were and remain closed nationwide, shuttering nearly all of the country’s theaters, including some of its biggest chains.
4 biggest movie theater chain stocks in the U.S. are down by 25%-40% over the past six months, with massive dips occurring within the last month.
The shutdown of movie theaters world-wide due to the corona virus has put at heightened risk of default if they are unable to reopen in several months or secure a financial lifeline. As the largest, oldest, and most profitable film industry in the world, Hollywood has postponed nearly all March and April releases, and many May ones too. China’s 70,000 movie theaters have been closed since January. It was also reported that the country has lost an estimated $2 billion at the box office because of this unfortunate state of affairs, and there hasn’t been an official word from the government regarding when the theaters will be reopened. While in Indonesia, the entire Cinema XXI branches in Jakarta were temporarily inactive from March 23rdup until April 5th 2020. They also stated that they have begun to limit the distance by emptying one seat between the audience. On the other side, CGV Indonesia is reported to have reduced the showtime of each movie to only three to four times (used to be five to six times) which applies at 17 outlets out of 68. Moreover, since the end of January, both Cinema XXI and CGV Indonesia have also been spraying disinfectants and providing hand sanitizers to improve its sanitation.
People are encouraged to stay at home, avoiding the crowds. Hence, for the first time in its history, movies are being made available at home at the same time they’re available in theaters. Disney: Pixar’s “Onward” was launched on the Disney+ subscription service on April 3rdin the U.S. and is now available to buy digitally for $19.99, while it’s only been two weeks since its premiere in theaters, since it was also reported that the Pixar movie had a 73 percent decline from its first three days in theaters, demonstrating the impact of this virus fears on moviegoing.
Universal was the first studio to take action by declaring that they have made their movies available at home on the same day as their global theatrical release, starting with “Trolls World Tour”, which had been scheduled to be released on April 10 in the U.S. Other movies, including “The Hunt”, “The Invisible Man”, and “Emma” are currently all available for a 48-hour rental. Perhaps you’re confused and wondering, why would they make those kind of decisions? Well, according to NBCUniversal CEO, Jeff Shell, they wanted to provide an option for people to view those titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable, rather than delaying those films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape. Occasionally, we would have to wait for approximately two and a half months before the movie is available to watch at home through purchase or rental. But, none of that matters now since the theaters are closed and the potential for that box office revenue is gone.
According to Statista, the global film industry has encountered a revenue loss of seven billion U.S. dollars as of the middle of March 2020, due to this outbreak and its impact on industries around the world. With the theaters closing and movie premieres being postponed, besides the fact that we have to wait a little bit longer to go see our most-anticipated movies, like “No Time to Die”, “A Quiet Place Part II”, and “Wonder Woman 1984”, this industry could lose another ten billion dollars in revenue if the economic effects of this ongoing condition continues throughout April and May.
Words by: Nat Padma
Header cred: Wallpaper Access
Sources: ABC News, Axios, CNBC, Quartz, New York Times, Statista