The first few months of every new year have traditionally been a down period for Hollywood and the movie industry in terms of box office. The holidays just ended, kids are going back to school and the weather’s generally bad so no one wants to trek to the local theater.
That notion changed in the last few years though with films like Black Panther, Get Out and Captain Marvel opening early in the year. But 2020 is reverting back to the old days. Only this time, it’s for far more serious reasons.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re seeing film and television productions shut down, a number of big budget movies, including A Quiet Place: Part II, Mulan and Fast & Furious 9, delayed and even theaters beginning to take precautions like limiting the number of tickets sold per screening to avoid personal contact with your fellow moviegoer.
In light of all of these decisions, Hollywood could lose in excess of $20 billion according to The Hollywood Reporter. From No Time To Die taking a $30-$50 million loss for moving its release from April to November to Marvel losing $300,000 a day while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is shut down, all of these losses will certainly add up.
And $20 billion might be a conservative estimate as we still don’t know how long the crisis will last. For instance, Black Widow comes out in two months and Wonder Woman 1984 in three. Could this pandemic still be happening then? And will it cause those releases to be delayed, too? Time will tell.
Of course, the area hit hardest by this outbreak are the below-the-line employees in Hollywood. From set decorators to costume designers to hair and makeup, all of those workers can’t work if productions are shut down. And again, this is only a week or so in. As such, the true ramifications and financial toll will not be known for quite some time.