Everyone knows how the coronavirus disease labeled COVID-19 is affecting all of our lives. It initially may have been downplayed as looking like it wouldn't be a big deal or would stay over in China. Neither turned out to be the case, so now the focus is on slowing the spread, and that means businesses, schools and events are being closed to keep people from gathering there.
Putting a limit on meetings where people can gather started at 250, with under that allowed if precautions were taken. Limits enacted by individual states in the USA became national limits and they dropped rapidly to where it's now at a limit of 10.
In between then, TV shows and movies began announcing they were halting production and the release of some movies were delayed until later in the year. Movie theaters were to limit how many tickets they sold so people could spread out more in the auditoriums, but that's been mostly replaced by Regal Cinemas, Alamo Drafthouse and Landmark Theaters in the US and Cineplex Odeon and Landmark Cinemas in Canada closing their doors. AMC and Cinemark said as of Sunday morning they going to try staying open with either a limit of 50 people per auditorium or 50% of the seats in the auditorium. However, while I was typing this, AMC made the announcement that they're closing for 6-12 weeks. Just a day later, Cinemark also said they were closing.
When theaters reopen or be able to sell more tickets isn't known right now. My guess from what I see of various shutdown announcements is everyone's trying to get past the time frame of the virus' life cycle. X amount of time for incubation, Y amount to show symptoms, plus Z amount for it to run its course, so the reopening is sometime after then. Roughly around mid-June, but could be later.
Since the normal release schedule is out the window and very few theaters were they could be seen, some studios are trying different methods. Some of them include the following:
- Trolls World Tour was moved up to an April 10th simultaneous release in theaters and streaming. However, with no major theaters left in the US to show it in as of March 17th, it may quickly switch to just a home video release or get a postponed completely.
- Universal Studios will bring movies that were in theaters as of this past weekend over to online rental as early as Friday the 20th. The movies are The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma.
- Other movies like Birds of Prey are also planned to move to home video quickly.
If I pick up more info about how movie studios and theaters are dealing with this, I'll try to add it here.
Note: Please keep comments on movies and not on things like politics or opinions about what should or should not have been done before.
Other relevant articles
- "If Theaters Can Survive the Current Pandemic, It Will Be on Different Terms"
- "Carnage at the Box Office: Specialized Films Are Decimated by Coronavirus"
- "Disneyland Donates All of Its Leftover Food After Closure Due to Coronavirus"
- "Regal Cinemas Closing All Theaters Starting Tomorrow Until Further Notice: Coronavirus", Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2020, 1:40pm
- "Coronavirus Theater Closures In U.S./Canada Hit 3K As Alamo Drafthouse & Others Go Dark: 'This News…Is Devastating'", Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2020, 7:01pm
- "Landmark Temporarily Closes All Theaters Over Coronavirus", Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2020, 5:27pm
- "AMC To Close U.S. Chain For 6 To 12 Weeks Due To Coronavirus Concerns", Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2020, 9:59pm
- "Cinemark To Shutter All 345 U.S. Theaters On Wednesday", Deadline Hollywood, March 17, 2020, 2:02pm
- "Universal Breaking Theatrical Windows to Stream ‘Invisible Man,’ ‘The Hunt,’ and ‘Emma’", IndieWire, March 16, 2020, 2:56pm
- "‘Birds of Prey’ Will Be Released on VOD Early", Variety, March 16, 2020