Hollywood's Box Office Goes Dark as Theaters Close During Coronavirus Outbreak
AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, the two biggest chains in the country, both closed its theaters early last week
It’s a strange time for the movie industry.
For the first time ever, Comscore, the analytics company that generates box office grosses, reported no revenue over the weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This comes as theaters across the U.S. close in efforts to help curve the COVID-19 outbreak. AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, the two biggest chains in the country, both closed its theaters early last week to help with social distancing.
The website Box Office Mojo, which has dutifully recorded box office totals both daily and every weekend, last updated on March 19; the last weekend total available is from March 13-15.
As it stands, Disney Pixar’s Onward might be the last movie to claim the number 1 title for a number of weeks as theaters will remain closed through the worst of the outbreak.
The coronavirus outbreak has also caused uncertainty for many upcoming big releases now forced to push back from planned release dates. While the 25th Bond movie No Time to Die was the first major film to have its opening delayed due to the virus, other anticipated titles like Mulan, Black Widow, A Quiet Place 2, Minons: The Rise of Gru, The New Mutants and more have since followed suit.
Onward is one of the many movies now available to stream on digital platforms just days or weeks after a theatrical release. With no way to screen normally, studios have been making their titles available for consumers at home months ahead of schedule.
One of the first movies to make the move was Frozen II, which debuted on Disney+ three months ahead of schedule.
Universal Studios later pulled the same move with a list of its recent releases, including The Hunt, Emma. and The Invisible Man.
Trolls World Tour, which is made by DreamWorks Animation (a subsidiary of Universal Pictures), will become available on demand April 10, the same day as its previously planned North American theater release.