COVID-19 infects Hollywood movie production


Photo courtesy of Chris Pizzello/AP Images.

The marquee of the temporarily closed Wiltern Theater is pictured, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday ordered all of the city’s bars, nightclubs, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues to close in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Ramon Ramirez, Staff Reporter

As of now, major Hollywood projects have either shut down or delayed due to the effects of COVID-19. Not only have movies and shows been postponed, but also big theater chains such as AMC, Regal and Cinemark have closed down.

Some studios also announced that they are making their current movies in theaters available to stream.

According to an article published by Variety titled, How Coronavirus Is Affecting Entertainment: All the major Delays and Cancellations, it states that “Season four of Riverdale has been paused after a member of the production came into contact with someone who recently tested positive for coronavirus. Survivor, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and The Amazing Race, have also been shut down temporarily.”

One of the biggest letdowns as far as this whole virus pandemic has been the delays of the summer blockbuster movies like Fast and Furious 9, Mulan, A Quiet Place: Part 2, the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die and The New Mutants, mentioned on the same article by Variety.

The biggest delay from those mentioned is Fast and Furious 9 which has been pushed back a full year all the way to April 2021. The delay is also causing a big impact on movie theaters since there will not be anyone in the seats for quite some time.

As I mentioned, big movie theater chains have now closed their doors for the foreseeable future. In a story posted by Cinema Blend online, It’s official: Major Theaters Are all Closed Nationwide, Here’s Cinemark’s Statement, it said that, “Following a similar announcement from Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters on Monday, the third-largest movie chain, Cinemark, has also decided to close its doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

With now Cinemark closing indefinitely, this will change the way we watch new movies for a while.

In another article published by Variety titled, Universal to Make ‘Trolls World Tour,’ ‘The Hunt,’ ‘Invisible Man’ Available Early on Home Entertainment, it mentions that, “The initiative will kick off with DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour,” which is scheduled to debut on April 10 in the U.S. The company will also make films that are currently in theaters available on-demand starting as early as Friday, March 20. These films include the horror movies The Hunt and The Invisible Man, as well as Emma, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel from Focus, Universal’s specialty label.”

As far as pricing is considered, the same article suggests that, “The films will be available for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and for roughly the same price in international markets.”

But the real question is, are audiences willing to pay the price for new movies to watch in the comfort of their home?

For me, the answer is yes, because you have the power to control the way you watch it like pausing the movie if you are going to the restroom or rewinding the movie if you missed a certain line of dialogue.

Another benefit is if you are hungry, rather than paying a lot of money for a regular popcorn and drink in the movie theater, you can actually cook a full meal at home while you watch a new release movie in your home.

I would say things like these are worth the price alone.

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks to see how Hollywood deals with these unprecedented events, but one thing is for sure, the landscape of how we watch new release movies might have just changed for the future.