The new James Bond movie delayed. Studios scrapping film festivals. Blockbuster productions shut down. Hollywood is being rocked by the new coronavirus, according to AFP.
“I have never seen anything where this many films are going to be affected all at once,” said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “There’s isolated incidents or tragedies that happen, that might affect a certain film. But this really does infect all the industry from top to bottom.”
Industry estimates put the financial loss from Asian theatres already shuttered this year around $2 billion. Major Hollywood titles including “Mulan” — Disney’s China-set live-action blockbuster — have been placed on hold in China.
The last-minute global delay of 007 adventure “No Time To Die,” including its US and European releases, highlights the borderless impact of the virus. For now, US theater attendances are holding steady despite fears of spreading infection, and “Mulan” remains penned in for launch this month in North America.
But new coronavirus outbreaks in California and New York, and multiple deaths in Washington state, could impact receipts.
Meanwhile, massive buyers including Netflix, Amazon and Apple have pulled out of the SXSW festival in Texas — an important marketplace for movies. The impact will not be restricted to major studios.
More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition calling for SXSW to be canceled.While organizers insist it is still going ahead, reports of further high-profile dropouts including Warner Bros and CNN have sown doubts.