By AKIRA KATO
CINEMAS are silent and box office revenue has stopped, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the coronavirus pandemic meant cinemas must close down. Global film production has ground to a halt and box office revenue is now nought, signalling tough times ahead for the industry.
An extensive list of the movies and TV shows shut down or delayed due to the outbreak has been released. These include the much-anticipated Avatar sequels, the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise and several cult series such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, and The Witcher. Cable networks have also been hit, with several American talk-shows shut down as well.
Noosa’s own film production company, Fabric Films producer Taryn Sullivan said the company’s workflow has been downscaled. “We’re thinking how we can change scripts to make things work given the current climate,” she said. “We’re just getting busy again, but they’re very small jobs with very small crews.”
With the rapid spread of coronavirus, one industry analysis estimates the impact on global box offices and production will be at least $A7.85 billion (US$5 billion). Deadline reports predict the pandemic could end up costing up to $A26.7 billion ($US17 billion) in loss of global ticket sales between January and May. As the outbreak is pushing the film business closer to the edge, the industry is under more pressure to work out how to combat with the situation.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell announced Universal Picture has released the newest rental films to online streaming services. “We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible,” he said.