It’s been a weird — perhaps scary — couple of weeks for all of us, as nations are finding it increasingly difficult to contain the Coronavirus. But what does this have to do with the movies? Well, we already know that a bunch of release dates have been pushed back (some, like in the cast of Fast & Furious 9, by a whole year) and active productions are getting suspended one by one all in an effort to contain the virus.
These serious (but necessary) steps have of course led to major business repercussions and Hollywood could stand to lose upwards of $US 20 billion. As of right now, the global box office has already taken a massive $US 7 billion hit. Seeing as how the Coronavirus isn’t going to magically disappear within the next couple of weeks or so, things are only going to get worse.
According to THR, if the problem persists throughout March, April and May, the lost of revenue would climb to another staggering $US 10 billion, bringing its total loss to approximately $US 17 billion. And what happens if the crisis continues beyond May? The likes of Wonder Woman, Disney-Pixar’s Soul and Top Gun: Maverick will have to be postponed too, which would then see an even bigger revenue hit.
But these big numbers may be very difficult to digest for most of us. To bring it down a more human level, thousands of people in the entertainment industry in Hollywood have already lost/will continue to lose jobs if the problem persists. IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb told THR the following:
Right now, thousands of our members across all sectors of the entertainment industry are suffering financial hardship because of government mandated cancellations. Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus). But this isn’t just about us. Economic studies demonstrate that entertainment spending reverberates throughout our communities nationwide. Film and television production alone injects $49 billion into local businesses per year, and the overall entertainment industry supports 2.1 million jobs in municipal and state economies.