Movie industry plagued by COVID-19

Movie industry plagued by COVID-19

Owen Parker, Lifestyle Editor

Going to the movies is a universally beloved activity; however, as COVID-19 rampaged through various countries all around the globe, the movie industry has been greatly affected. The movie industry has been forced to adapt and some of the changes made due to the virus are likely going to stay. 

As with many other companies, movie theaters across the United States were forced to close due to social distancing guidelines. Theaters such as Regal Cinemas, StudioMovieGrill, Movie Tavern, and AMC were forced to shut their doors and stop showing movies until a steady decline in COVID-19 cases were reported.

Having to stop showing movies in the spring and into the summer was devastating for most theaters because, generally, the summer is one of the busiest and most lucrative times of the year for movies. 

AMC theaters were among the many theaters to close during the pandemic and the company nearly went bankrupt in May 2020. Luckily, a 200 million dollar loan was given to the company to keep them afloat until theaters could start being opened again. 

As of September 2020, theaters across the country are being opened up again, like StudioMovieGrill and AMC. They are even showing new releases such as New Mutants and Tenet along with showings of classic movies like Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. 

To combat closing theaters and still have a steady revenue stream, movie studios like Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and Pixar released movies digitally for rental and for free on some platforms.

Warner Brothers released Scoob, among other titles, for rental or for free on HBO MAX. Pixar released Onward on for purchase or rental and they released it for free on Disney+ and Dreamworks released Trolls World Tour digitally as well for purchase or rent. 

Surprisingly, Trolls World Tour made 5 million dollars within its first three weeks of being released digitally, which is more revenue than the original made in 5 months of being released in theaters. This made waves within the movie industry and this may set a precedence for movie studios in the future to release movies 

Although many movies have been released digitally throughout the spring and summer, many big releases have yet to be premiered. Films like James Bond: No Time to Die, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984 still have not been brought to theaters, but they do now have release dates, which fall between October, November, and December

Movie studios, like Disney and Warner Bros., are still eager to release their blockbusters and to resume the filming of new movies. 

Disney, unlike other studios, has used their streaming service to their advatage during the pandemic. 

On Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, Disney released the live-action remake of Mulan on Disney+ for a rental of $29.99 instead of premiering it in theaters. This rental price is on top of the streaming service’s standard subscription cost of $6.99/month, but it will become available for free on Disney+, December 4, 2020. 

Warner Bros. also did something unique for movies during the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 22, 2020, Warner Bros. had their own virtual 24-hour comic event, in place of their traditional appearance at the San-Diego Comic-Con, called DC Fandome. At this event, Warner Bros. announced, along with trailers and teasers, resuming production for various upcoming DC movies such as The Batman and The Suicide Squad. 

Not being able to release movies for six months because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been financially difficult for both movie theaters and movie studios, and although tweaks were made to ensure money could still be made, the movie industry hasn’t been the same since March 2020.

With theaters reopening around the US and the globe the movie industry seems to be getting back to its feet, but with the ever-changing nature of the virus, it is hard to tell if the industry will ever fully recover.