In the face of coronavirus outbreak the government has already closed cinema halls and Cineplex all around the country till April 2. Like Bangladesh the governments of other countries also have shut their movie theatres for an extended period of time. And this has hit a huge blow to the probable blockbusters of the year. Three of the year’s biggest blockbusters vacated long-held release dates within a seven-hour period on March 11, culminating with Disney halting the release of its live-action ‘Mulan’.
Disney announced that it will close the gates at Disneyland and California Adventure, which followed an order from the state of California to ban large gatherings overall. The studio had already indefinitely postponed its China release of ‘Mulan’, and just days after the Hollywood premiere for the new film, the global release was also postponed. In addition, Disney delayed the perpetually stalled ‘The New Mutants’ (originally set for April 3) and the Searchlight horror film ‘Antlers’ (April 17).Still on the schedule is Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’, set to open on May 1. Disney sources say the company hopes to find another release date for the April films sometime within 2020.
The Disney moves capped a whirlwind day that started with the postponements of Paramount’s ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ (which was supposed to come out on March 20) and Universal’s ‘F9’, the latest installment in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise (originally slated for May 23, the action film will now arrive on April 2, 2021). The James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’, which was set to arrive in theaters on April 10, has already been rescheduled for November.
However, cross-sections of people are also not visiting cinema halls in large numbers. A manager of a multiplex told the media that they had seen sharp declines in weekday attendance. Advanced ticket sales appeared to be hurting as well. Business of the Universal Studio’s Blumhouse thriller ‘The Hunt’, the Vin Diesel movie ‘Bloodshot’, and Christian rock drama ‘I Still Believe’ were also affected by COVID-19.
Globally, of course, coronavirus has already severely impacted movie business, as theaters remain closed in many countries such as Italy and South Korea. And gradual spread of the pandemic in the USA caused biggest loss for Hollywood. Earlier this month, it was reported that the film industry would lose close to $5 billion worldwide as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Cineworld, the world’s second-largest movie theater operator, said that a prolonged coronavirus disruption could cause the company to shut down.
To conclude, the social distancing actions that have rattled popular culture in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus and take pressure off the health care system won’t necessarily spell the end of the theatrical experience of the year. If more movies follow the lead of ‘No Time to Die’ and head for what everyone hopes is the pandemic-free pastures of the summer and fall, the third and fourth quarters of 2020 could wind up hosting a crush of blockbusters.