The film industry’s response to COVID-19


Photo courtesy of Variety

Will Kanny

Due to the coronavirus, the film industry has collapsed in all aspects from productions to releasing theoretical movies. Productions on television shows and movies have been pushed back and movies intended to be released have been postponed. During the start of the shutdown, the film industry halted all film and TV productions to gain further intelligence on coronavirus. Movie theaters also closed and most films that were scheduled to be released in the summer of 2020 were postponed either later in the year or the summer of 2021. 

Malcolm and Marie was the first film to be shot during quarantine, and it was done in secret. Once filming commenced, it was announced how the filming took place under safety guidelines. Prior to filming, the cast and crew quarantined for two weeks to make sure no one had coronavirus, and after filming was complete they quarantined for another two weeks. 

Different studios have been experimenting with different ways to release big-budget movies into mainstream media. WarnerMedia decided to release Tenet, a Christopher Nolan film, into theaters and it had minimal box office return. However, Disney released its big-budget movie, Mulan exclusively on its streaming platform for $30. Mulan helped boost Disney+ usage and added more subscribers to the service, though, it’s hard to tell if they made a profit releasing it on the streamer. 

Other studios have released films on demand, with the most prominent names being Bill and Ted 3 and Trolls World Tour. The release of these movies on demand sparked a disagreement between Universal and theaters, and it resulted in Universal being allowed to have a shorter theatrical release of its movies. 

Another aspect of the film industry that collapsed during coronavirus was the production of TV, popular shows, like Stranger Things and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, had to delay productions. 

However, currently many productions are getting back to business, using safety protocols to protect cast and crew from coronavirus. Some shows, because of coronavirus, are getting canceled instead of filming a new season, such as The Society season 2 and other Netflix originals like the final season of Glow

Coronavirus has completely disrupted the film industry by shutting down productions and preventing the release of big-budget movies, and making an already confusing industry more complex.