New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have ordered all movie theaters in their cities to close

By Nicholas Rice
March 16, 2020 02:10 PM

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Hollywood is taking a major hit as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the nation.

Movie ticket sales dived to their lowest levels in over two decades at North American movie theaters, leading to one of Hollywood’s worst weekends at the box office.

According to Variety, ticket sales generated roughly $55.3 million between Friday and Sunday.

Disney’s latest Pixar release Onward remained the top film, earning $10.5 million in its second weekend while the faith-based romance film I Still Believe brought in $9.5 million. Sony and Vin Diesel’s comic-book adaptation Bloodshot grossed an estimated $9.3 million while the Blumhouse horror satire film The Hunt opened with $5.3 million.

Box office numbers have not been this low since the Sept. 15 to 17 weekend in 2000, when movie theaters took in $54.5 million from films including Keanu Reeves’ psychological thriller The Watcher and cheerleading favorite Bring It On. More people went to the movies the weekend after Sept. 11, 2001.

Much of public life around the nation has changed very quickly within the past week. Theme parks shut down, Broadway went dark, numerous films delayed their initial release dates and many films and television shows halted production altogether as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread.

Credit: Getty

In an unprecedented move, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have ordered all movie theaters in their cities to close amid the global crisis.

The closures will take effect at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 17.

Many films that were due to be released this month, such as A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s Mulan, have been removed from the film release schedule altogether. Other major releases, like the James Bond flick No Time To Die, have been postponed to later this year.

As of Monday morning, there are at least 3,602 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 66 people have died.