Written by Ollie C.
It’s undeniable that the unfortunate outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus has had sweeping and saddening effects across all industries and sectors across the world since its inception in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Being an entertainment news source and blog, we thought it would be interesting to discuss the socio-economic impacts that the outbreak has had, is having and will continue to have on the film and television industry.
It came as a surprise today that the worldwide release of the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, will be postponed from April to 25th November due to worries surrounding the outbreak and health security. This has caused many to question whether other studios will issue announcements surrounding the rescheduling or postponement of their upcoming films. What effects will this have on the industry as a whole? Will small movie theatres survive a landscape of limited film releases? Let’s discuss.
Coronavirus in China
In January 2020, the Chinese government took it upon themselves to demand that Chinese film companies release their upcoming films online rather than in cinemas in response to the outbreak including ‘Enter The Fat Dragon’ and ‘Lost In Russia’.
Even the big global players in the industry have been affected, most notably Disney’s Mulan. The film that is set predominantly in China, was planned for release on 27th March but has now been delayed indefinitely according to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Only a week ago, Paramount Pictures announced that the seventh installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, starring Tom Cruise, halted a planned three-week shoot in Venice due to virus fears in Italy.
China, being the second-largest film market after North America, has played a significant role in the strong performance of the likes of the recent $2 billion earning Avengers: Endgame and the ever-popular Fast & Furious franchise.
In terms of film festivals, of which there are many across the globe in the upcoming months, concerns have been raised surrounding the events as they often draw thousands of visitors from press and film. The Cannes Film Festival, on the French Riviera, is set to begin on 12th May, but spokespeople for the festival have said that the health and safety of the public will remain the priority.
But more locally, theatres in small towns and cities, especially those run independently could suffer drastically, as they see blockbuster films being pulled, and movie-goers choosing to stay at home. It remains to be seen the extent to which the virus will continue to spread, so it is worth noting that such concerns are currently hypothetical and only based on current box-office reports from the likes of China and Italy. The box office across Italy has seen a catastrophic 75% drop from that of February 2019.
The future remains unclear surrounding Covid-19, and its effects are of course incredibly detrimental to all parts of life. In the meantime, stay calm and safe.
Thank you for reading this special discussion from A Space Oddity editor, Oliver C.
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