The Effects of COVID-19 on the Movie Industry


The annual box office earnings. Photo from BrinkNews.

With COVID-19 still on the rise and businesses following safety protocols, the toll has begun to take its course. The movie industry is one of the most affected by COVID-19 along with travel, retail and sports.

The global film industry had to halt film production and close cinemas. It’s reported that the increase of streaming videos online was already causing a huge impact on the industry. A study done by Variety shows that 70 percent  of watchers would prefer to watch new movies at home since COVID-19 first spread. Overall, people’s anxiety for their safety and health has outweighed the want to leave the house. Additionally, COVID-19 has majorly impacted broadway and other public spaces. Broadway has been shut down since April and isn’t projected to reopen until May 30, 2021 and 60 percent of respondents revealed that attending a big public event “would scare them for a long time.”


Because of COVID-19, within the first two months of 2020, China’s box office was down to $3.9 million, which translates to 406,360,500.00 Japanese Yen. In mid-March, America lost around $7 billion due to the theatres being shut down and premiers being postponed. At the end of May,they were down $10 billion. Even though big chain theatres like AMC and Cinemark re opened then closed shortly after, a lot of people aren’t going due to the risk. 


As of now, they don’t have a plan for recovery. Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush said, “[The theater industry] is not going to recover fully until consumers are confident that they won’t die if they go to the movies. That means no return to normal until there is a vaccine widely available, likely not until April to July 2021.”


A lot of hope for the theatres is riding on the new James Bond film “No Time to Die,” which is due to release on Nov. 20. 


Doug Stone, president of Box Office Analysis quoted as saying, “Right now, given that there is virtually nothing likely to produce significant revenue until late November, there is a likelihood that theaters may again shut down and that layoffs may recur. There is also concern that a significant number of less well-capitalized theaters will just give it up by year’s end.”