COVID-19 catastrophe kills cinema

Disney’s live action version of Mulan, the newest James Bond thriller No Time To Die, and Wonder Woman 1984, as well as A Quiet Place Part II were among the films whose release dates were pushed back or postponed indefinitely. Streaming services are poised to benefit from coronavirus precautions, however.

Goodbye movie theaters, hello streaming! Our way of life has been upended in ways nobody could have seen coming.

Students all across the country have been forced to go online for the remainder of the semester. Social distancing has become the new norm. In fact, some states have opted to make self-quarantine a legal requirement.

All this to fight off COVID-19. But it’s the little things in life that will be missed the most. Mainly, trips to the movie theater. It started with James Bond.

On March 4, parent company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) announced that their April 10 release, No Time to Die, would instead be pushed back seven months to Nov.25.

This is because, at the time, the COVID-19 panic was contained to only China and parts of Europe, two of MGM’s biggest market share. However, this would not be the end of the cancellations or delays. Over the next week, more and more of the summer’s big releases began pushing back release dates and cancelling all together.

The ninth COVID-19 catastrophe kills cinema film in the Fast and the Furious franchise was pushed back an entire year, despite its star claiming the release would not be perturbed by the COVID-19 scare.

A Quiet Place Part II’s release was postponed indefinitely. Even Disney’s big tent-poles Black Widow and Mulan have been put on indefinite hold until the global pandemic is solved. Some studios are trying to recover from their losses.

Films still in theaters such as The Invisible Man, Trolls World Tour and The Hunt are now being sold on digital for a flat fee of $19.99. Pixar’s On-
ward is also doing this, and even dropping on Disney+ at the beginning of April. This begs an interesting question, however. Could this be the future of the movie-going experience?

For as long as Hollywood has been around, there’s always been something trying to kill it. First it was television. Then it was internet piracy. More recently, it was streaming, a battle that hasn’t quite ended yet.

There have been more and more accommodations made by Hollywood to reconcile with streaming services, such as negotiations with theaters for longer syndication to strong-arming streaming services into doing
theatrical releases.

However, it’s interesting to note that the studio least affected by the COVID-19 crisis is Netflix. (How do we know they’re least affected? Or is this an assumption?) It’s clear the world won’t be the same after this crisis is over. And cinema may very well be a casualty of that change, which would be a shame.

There’s nothing I love more than strapping myself in for two hours and experiencing a movie distraction-free, as the filmmaker intended for you to see it. But I’m adaptable. It’s just a shame future generations may only experience movies through Netflix or Disney+.