Coronavirus claims 'Batman' and 'Jurassic' as victims, with Broadway staying dark until May
It's been a tough week for the entertainment industry.
On Friday it was officially announced that Broadway will extend its coronavirus shutdown until May 2021 - leaving hundreds of thousands of theatrical works unemployed.
In the meantime, big tent poles like Universal's "Jurassic World: Dominion" (CMCSA) and Warner Bros. "The Batman" (T) have postponed their release dates - both films are set to debut in 2022 instead of 2021.
The announcement comes amid a coronavirus horror on the set of the sequel to “Jurassic World”. The production of the film, which still has a little less than a month of shooting time, is now suspended for two weeks.
Woke up to the news that we had some positive coronavirus tests on Jurassic World: Dominion. All tested negative shortly thereafter, but due to our security protocols, we will be on hold for two weeks. Back soon. pic.twitter.com/DxuqX9UdgX
- Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) October 7, 2020
"The Batman" faced a similar fate in early September after lead actor Robert Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19 - forcing the film to shut down.
Although director Matt Reeves pushed for production to be completed by the end of this year, the surprising delay confused this timeline.
Warner Bros. announced that it will swap the debut of the Caped Crusader for the science fiction thriller "Dune", which was originally due to hit theaters in December 2020. It will now open on October 1, 2021
In the meantime, other high-profile films such as Disney's "Black Widow" (DIS) and James Bond's "No Time to Die" have postponed their respective theatrical releases to 2021.
So far, "Wonder Woman: 1984" is the only big blockbuster in 2020 that is still on the way to debut on December 25, 2020.
Movie delays due to COVID-19
In the meantime, the cinemas are trying to cut costs in a shortened and lean theater season and impending financial burdens.
IMAX (IMAX) announced Thursday that 150 people will be employed primarily in North America for several months.
The company hopes these cost-cutting measures won't include specific layoffs just yet - although other media giants are relying on job cuts to weather the coronavirus storm.
AT & T's WarerMedia plans to cut thousands of jobs to cut costs by up to 20%, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, the company was hit by the pandemic that slammed movie ticket sales, cable subscriptions and television advertising spending.
In the meantime, AMC (AMC) is sticking to its reopening plan. The theater chain expects to reopen 520 of its 600 locations by mid-October. The stock hit the news on Thursday.
About 70% of US cinemas are currently open, with the exception of major markets like NYC and LA. However, many of these reopened locations are facing possible bankruptcies or even future closings due to the low ticket sales.
Earlier this week, Cineworld (CNNWF), owned by Regal Theaters, announced its plan to close theater locations in both the US and the UK due to blockbuster delays.
Earlier this week, Cineworld - owned by Regal Theater - announced its plan to close theater locations in both the US and the UK due to the blockbuster delays
However, theater owners are still hoping that a comeback story is within reach.
“We know we won't be very profitable this year, but we're trying to ramp up and get back to business so that when we get to the other side of the pandemic in 2021, we can get back to record levels, a game-changing shape “Said John Fithian, National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance.
"What we need by then is a bridge between 2019 and 2021," he continued.
Last week, NATO - along with the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association - and over 90 celebrity Hollywood guys wrote a letter to Congress urging them to pass more aid to the struggling industry.
“Cinema is an important industry that represents the best that American talent and creativity has to offer. But now we fear for their future, ”says the document. "Our country cannot afford to lose the social, economic and cultural value that theaters offer."
Currently, the theaters are urging the government to divert unallocated funds from the CARES Act or to pass new proposals such as the RESTART Act to extend hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to hard-hit businesses.
Alexandra is a producer and entertainment correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193
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