Coronavirus Takes a Huge Toll on Filmmaking
The coronavirus has spread its way across the globe, now affecting major film productions. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film industry is facing a $5 billion loss because of the outbreak.
Movie theaters in China, Japan, Italy and South Korea have closed to stop the coronavirus from spreading further. The virus, also called COVID-19, has infected over 100,000 people and resulted in over 3,000 deaths around the world. Most of the deaths have occurred in China, but South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest film market, has seen its number of infections nearly double. Many fear that the US may be next.
Even in places where movies theaters haven’t closed, consumers may avoid seeing movies out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. In February, movie revenue in South Korea decreased by 70 percent.
Because of the coronavirus’s effect on movie theaters, film studios are pushing release dates. The new James Bond film No Time To Die, for example, was originally set to hit theaters on April 10 but will now be released in November 2020.
The annual film and technology festival SXSW has also been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Although there have not yet been any reported cases of virus in Austin, Texas, where the festival is held, festival organizers were ordered to shut down SXSW after the mayor declared a local disaster in the city.
“We are devastated to share this news with you,” reads a statement on the official SXSW website. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”
Organizers said they were looking into plans for rescheduling the event; the statement did not provide information about refunds for festival badges.
The MIPTV, a global content market that was set to take place in Cannes in later this month, has also been cancelled. However, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, scheduled for May, is currently still on.