Many films have been delayed due to COVID-19. This is not only the result of productions shutting down, but also concerns about audiences returning to theaters. Even films who had completely finished production before the onset of the pandemic have continuously pushed release dates back as many are concerned that people are not comfortable going to theaters and therefore sales will be very low. Some films, like Disney's Mulan, switched to be released on streaming only.
The release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet to theaters served as an example for other films after its devastating box office results made it the lowest grossing film in more than a decade. Tenet actually did quite well in the international box office, however with the state of the pandemic in the United States, what had originally been a symbol of hope and return to theaters, business, and normalcy, became a warning for the rest of the industry.
70% of the country has reopened theaters, but major cities like New York and Los Angeles have not. Unfortunately, those cities also make up the largest part of the market. This week, Cineworld also announced it was closing all of its locations due to difficulties reopening in these major markets. This announcement prompted another onslaught of delays in film releases.
"This will not be a reversible process. We could lose movie theater-going forever."
As the film industry struggles to figure out how to operate under these conditions especially with the lack of government support.
Jenkins also expressed concerns that the pandemic has accelerated and emphasized the already prevalent rise in streaming and stray from traditional film entertainment experiences. These changes in the industry and studios focusing on streaming could have major implications; she compares it to the music industry:
"You could crumble the entire industry by making it something that can't be profitable."
The effects of the pandemic on every walk of life is nothing short of distressing, but many may not have realized that this disruption to the movie-watching experience may have changed it forever.
Wonder Woman 1984 is set to premiere on December 25, 2020. Watch the trailer below.
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