The pandemic affected all stages of film production: from the shooting of new projects to promotion mechanisms, in this sense, the most dramatic changes occurred in the festival sector, which had to adjust to bans and restrictions.
But first and foremost, the pandemic accelerated the restructuring of the entire customary system of film distribution, exhibition, and viewing, strengthening the position of online platforms and causing conservatives among audiences and industry professionals alike to lament the imminent death of cinemas. The pandemic also gave freelancers and employers of record from all over the world a chance to prove themselves. Because of this, the content of all kinds is always available, without any harm to your health.
Closing of cinemas
Theaters were completely closed in South Korea, Japan, Italy, and France, and in the U.S. only 20% of theaters work. Already the middle of March 2020 at the U.S. box office was the worst in terms of total profits in almost 20 years. Despite three new films at the wide box office, the industry earned just $55.3 million in three days, by comparison, the first weekend of February alone brought in more than $64 million overall. And the next week, the doors of all the major multiplexes closed, and new releases by the end of March, were not planned at all.
Postponement of movie premieres
Hollywood studios postponed the distribution of potential hits: “No Time to Die” about James Bond, “Mulan”, “A Quiet Place 2” and “Fast and Furious 9”; the latest victim was “Black Widow”, a Marvel tentpole with Scarlett Johansson. It didn’t stop there, as the premieres of almost all of the films were postponed several more times each. Each change of plans costs the studios a lot of money.
The film industry had problems not only because of the cinemas. It stopped the production of the most notable projects – the shooting of “Batman”, “Fantastic Beasts 3”, the preparation for filming the new “Mission: Impossible” in Venice, one of the largest hotbeds of the new coronavirus, suspended work on all projects on Netflix. Such measures are taken not only in America and Europe but also in the rest of the world. In India, for example, the Bollywood trade associations agreed to stop production on March 19. All of this, of course, means not only disruption of deadlines, but also monetary losses.
Chances for streaming
Oddly enough, even in this situation there can be and have been winners, namely television and streaming. Movies have always been a great comforter in hard times, it’s unlikely to be different now, especially since you need something to fill additional leisure time.
Disney+ and Apple TV+ services have launched, and HBO Max and Peacock have started working on this one. Thus, the leaders – Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu – have new competitors, and the race for viewers’ attention has intensified. At the same time, the closing of cinemas around the world literally tied viewers to their home screens.
Today, the epidemiological situation is much better. More and more cinemas have opened their doors to movie lovers on the big screen. In spite of everything, a positive moment in the industry was the rapid development of online services for watching movies and TV series, which are popular even now.