The ongoing Coronavirus crisis shows no signs of slowing down, with thousands of new cases being reported on a daily basis around the world and virtually all walks of life being brought to a standstill by the continued spread of the pandemic. Millions of people are staying at home to self-isolate, with only essential services being kept open as all other business shut their doors for the time being.
As one of the planet’s most popular pastimes, the closure of theaters everywhere was always going to have a catastrophic effect on the movie business, with Hollywood set to lose out on $20 billion in revenue due to the Coronavirus and a huge number of big budget blockbusters having their release dates rescheduled for later in the year, when the worst will hopefully be behind us.
The domestic box office recorded the lowest cumulative gross between the top ten in 22 years last weekend, but with less than 300 theaters currently still open in the United States out of almost 6000, things have gotten a lot worse. For the first time since 1994, the reported total for the week’s in-release movies is an ominous zero.
While the studios are still set to lose out on huge amounts of revenue due to the widespread theater closures, many of the titles that could be found in last week’s top ten are either already available for digital download or are set to arrive shortly, including Pixar’s Onward, The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Bloodshot and Sonic the Hedgehog, in an effort to appease fans that have been prohibited from getting out and seeing them on the big screen.
We are truly living in unprecedented times and unfortunately, it could be a while yet before the box office begins to recover, especially with a summer release schedule for some of the year’s most highly-anticipated movies still shrouded in mystery for the time being.