Covid-19 Affects the Movies and Movie Theaters

Sam Schiffman '21, Contributing Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected various economic structures across the globe. One industry that has taken a rather large hit is the movie theater industry. In the age where you have thousands of titles across various streaming platforms, consumers have already transitioned to watching their favorite actors on the big screen to their own living room. With large gatherings banned due to social distancing guidelines, movie theaters have closed down, and streaming platforms have boomed.

Not only has the virus affected how we watch movies, but it has taken a toll on the production itself. Worldwide production has halted causing various movies to be delayed as far into late 2021. Studio companies have not been able to make movies and have had to change up how they release their upcoming titles.

For example Disney, which released their streaming platform “Disney +” earlier this year, moved their recent Pixar collaboration “Onward” from the theater to the streaming site. Other companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime have been producing movies for the sole purpose of a streaming service release. This trend has caused movie theaters to decrease in attendance, and now with their companies closed, theaters such as AMC and regal theaters are at risk of completely shutting down.

This new online form of viewing movies has caused the Oscars to change how they are going to present their awards this year. According to Forbes magazine the academy will change their eligibility rules to provide for movies released solely on streaming sites to be eligible to win awards. This is a change that will further increase the traffic on these streaming sites, all while providing a blow to movie theater revenue.

Coronavirus is not the reason that we will see movie theaters go extinct, but it is definitely the last straw in a declining industry. Sites like Netflix are taking over not only with movies but with tv shows as well. I would say that at least once a month there is a new netflix show that goes “viral” and has everyone talking. It will not be long until the way we view movies and tv is completely converted to primarily online, and coronavirus has only sped up that timeline.