Filmmaking Essentials: Coronavirus outbreak, economic impact, entertainment

Filmmaking Essentials: Coronavirus outbreak, economic impact, entertainment

Want to make movies? Hey there, aspiring filmmakers. You’re the New Hollywood Generation. My name is Orlando Delbert. This is ‘Hollywood, Unapologetic!’

I first wrote about success in filmmaking, and life, when I was writing, Pollyanna’s Tear Soaked Battlefields of Hollywood: A Survival Guide Against the Cynicism and the Hypocritical.

Today I wanted to speak about how the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 is already impacting the entertainment industry.

The number of those infected by the coronavirus continues to spread. As of this episode, China has over 69,000 people infected, with 1,770 people killed. With no surprise, the Chinese film industry is at a standstill. And the outbreak increased right before the Chinese New Year, a very lucrative time for the country.

Around the world, people are being fearful of public places, and live-entertainment venues. The closing of theme parks and resorts, like Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland in January of 2020 are early examples in the hopes to keep families safe.

Tokyo Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disneyland, as well as Tokyo DisneySea parks locations scheduled to close down from Saturday, February 29th to Sunday, March 15th.

Universal Studios Japan announced a “temporary closure” of the park on those days as well. All of the parks mentioned may stay closed as the situation changes.

Movie theaters in China have already been closed for a month, and that has been a fast-growing market in recent years. Depending on how long the theaters are closed can easily mean losses of hundreds of millions of dollars this quarter alone for the studios and theater chains in lost ticket sales.

Some analysts are expecting to see losses in the billions. The Chinese marketplace makes up one of the largest percentages of Hollywood’s international box office revenue.

I know the Chinese promotional tour and red-carpet screening in Beijing for the next James Bond film; “No Time to Die”, starring Daniel Craig and Rami Malek was cancelled. There is a possibility theaters may reopen in time for the scheduled mid-April release. On April 2nd, “No Time to Die” will be released in certain international territories.

When “Spectre” opened in late 2015, it had earned $83 million dollars in the box office in China alone. It grossed $881 million dollars worldwide. It’s expected “No Time to Die” to earn at least that much in April. Without China’s box office revenue however, the film is expected to reach just under $800 million in gross earnings.

The Walt Disney Company, as well as other motion picture studios is in a “wait and see” mode at the moment. Disney hasn’t had any major film releases in China yet this year with the exception of the Oscar-winning Searchlight Pictures title, “Jojo Rabbit”.

For a high-stakes film for Disney, such as “Mulan”, starring Chinese actress, I hope I pronounce her name correctly; Liu Yifei is still an unknown. It is a remake of an important animated picture and of the Mulan legend’s significance in Mainland Chinese’s culture. They are not clear on what the theatrical release date will be in China.
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