Movie theaters shuttering, titles delayed — Hollywood could lose $20 billion over COVID-19

(LOS ANGELES) — As the world ushers in new preventative measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, it appears the Hollywood box office will take a massive hit in the wallet — to the tune of $20 billion dollars. 

As reported, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced studios to push back a swath of movie titles, on top of that, forced production on several major movies to grind to a halt. In an abundance of caution, theaters chains like AMC began limiting ticket sales to keep patrons at a safe distance from each other.

However, in Los Angeles and New York, theaters have just been ordered closed by the cities’ respective mayors; this follows similar prohibitions on any places people gather, like restaurants and bars.

That said, the global box office already suffered a seven billion dollar loss with theaters overseas leading the way in shuttering to prevent the spread of the disease. The loss could jump by another $10 billion after May, notes The Hollywood Reporter, which also points out that it is unknown if insurance can even recoup the losses.

Evidence of Hollywood’s COVID-19-related symptoms were found in this weekend’s box office numbers — the domestic box office suffered its worst weekend in 22 years.  The New York Times reports that ticket prices plunged by 44% since last weekend, making only $55.3 million in sales. 

Disney/Pixar’s Onward suffered a 73% drop in ticket sales over the weekend. 

Overall, the worst weekend for ticket sales in the box office was September 2000, when Hollywood made about $30 million in 2020 money.

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