Here’s how coronavirus is changing the movie industry

Zack Boniface
Story by Zack Boniface and CBC Kids News • 2020-03-30 06:00

From closed theatres to Netflix watch parties, the movie industry is transitioning

The coronavirus outbreak has us all taking part in our own #stayhomechallenge — we are physical distancing, leaving lots of time for streaming our favourite movies and TV shows.

The coronavirus is having huge effects on our daily life, but have you thought about the effects it’s having on the film industry?

Closing down movie theatres for now

It wasn’t that long ago that we all could sit in a movie theatre and watch a film together.

But now, sitting in a room with dozens of moviegoers isn’t safe for minimizing the spread of the virus.

photo of a family in masks inside a cineplex movie theatre

Movie theatres like Cineplex now sit empty, but just last week, on March 16, young moviegoers were still in attendance in Toronto. (Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

Cineplex, the largest chain of movie theatres in Canada, announced on March 16 that it would be temporarily closing all of its 165 theatres across the country.

Other theatres have also closed their doors to do their part to flatten the curve and reduce the risk of infection.

A box office breakdown

All this means that box office numbers are falling to historic lows.

And box office sales often help determine if a movie will be a hit or a flop.

Ticket sales were down before things shut down completely.

Just before major movie theatres closed in Canada, the global box office saw its lowest numbers in 20 years, since the year 2000!

Delay, delay and more delay

A lot of anticipated movie premiere dates have been delayed.

The new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, was the first to be pushed back from its original release date of April 10 to sometime in November.

A woman wearing a mask appears in front of a poster for the movie Mulan.

Disney has yet to reschedule the premiere or release of the much-anticipated live action Mulan. (Mladen Antonov/Getty Images)

Disney soon followed suit, indefinitely delaying the release dates of Mulan, The New Mutants, and most recently, Black Widow.

Netflix party anyone?

Physical distancing and self-isolating at home don’t need to be so lonely anymore!

Netflix Party is a new, independent Google Chrome extension that you can add to your browser.

It allows you to sync up your Netflix movies and shows with your friends and chat as you watch.

Don’t expect to watch your favourite films and TV shows in their highest quality though.

Netflix Canada isn’t the only place to have its streaming quality lowered. Much of Europe and Asia have seen the same measures, which are expected to last a month. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Netflix Canada has announced that it is lowering video quality on its platform in an attempt to lower bandwidth demand and prevent the internet from crashing.

CBC has planned a movie night

Since hockey is no longer on TV, CBC is offering an all new Movie Night in Canada.

Two popular Canadian movies are presented back to back on Saturday evenings on CBC and CBC Gem.

The movies begin at 7 p.m. ET, and are a great way to celebrate filmmaking in Canada.

So let’s get that microwave popcorn ready and cozy up on the couch with your favourite blanket!

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About the Contributor

Zack Boniface
Zack Boniface
CBC Kids News Contributor
Zack Boniface, 13, is an aspiring actor and filmmaker from Ottawa. When not obsessing over movies, he likes to volunteer with his school’s social justice group, shoot hoops and practise the ukulele. Zack comes from a military family and is a proud Royal Canadian Sea Cadet.

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