Entertainment

Broadway, Disneyland shut down due to COVID-19 as Hollywood clears release calendar

The entertainment industry is facing a shutdown in the coming weeks due to COVID-19.

Junos, Canadian Screen Awards are among Canadian events cancelled

Empty ticket selling booths are seen for Broadway, one of the many facets of the entertainment industry affected by the new coronavirus pandemic. (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

Shutdowns in the entertainment industry from coronavirus fears are leading to the closures of major venues such as Disneyland and Broadway's theatres, along with the cancellation of upcoming festivals and movie releases.

The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it will close its theme parks in California and Florida along with its resort in Paris from this weekend through the end of the month due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus.

Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures starting Saturday through the end of the month, the company said.

Hollywood is also slowing the normal hum of TV productions and the bustle of red carpet movie premieres.

The upcoming releases of A Quiet Place 2 and the latest Fast & Furious movie joined the many postponements, which include the latest James Bond film No Time To Die.

Universal Pictures announced that the Fast and Furious movie titled F9 would not open May 22 as planned but in April next year.

Similarly, A Quiet Place 2 from Paramount Pictures will not open next week as planned.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski attend the world premiere of Paramount Pictures' "A Quiet Place Part II" Mar. 8 in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/The Associated Press)

"As insanely excited as we are for all of you to see this movie ... I'm gonna wait to release the film till we can all see it together," said the film's director and star, John Krasinski, in an Instagram message Thursday.

Cinemas have been closed in China, India, Italy, Poland, Greece and other countries.

Disney's highly-anticipated live-action drama Mulan was set to open Mar. 27 but several media reports suggest that too has been postponed.

Broadway temporarily shuts down

California Governor Gavin Newsom recommended the cancellation or postponement of gatherings of 250 or more people while the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, banned gatherings Thursday of more than 500 people to prevent the spread of the virus.

As a result, Broadway is shuttering performances until mid-April. Popular musicals from Hamilton to The Lion King will come to a stop Thursday evening.

Broadway is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because its audience skews older, hundreds of people are packed closely together for every show and the industry is dependent on tourism.

A part-time usher and security guard who worked at two Broadway theatres in recent days tested positive for COVID-19 and is under quarantine.

More scheduling shifts for film, TV

Paramount also shuffled the release of Lovebirds and Blue Story. 

Apple's The Morning Show is among the many productions that have been put on hiatus. Central Casting closed its offices. Also Thursday, the TCM Classic Film festival scheduled next month in Los Angeles was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Juno Awards, CSAs nixed

Canada's biggest music awards show was also called off due to the pandemic. The Juno Awards was scheduled for Sunday in Saskatoon and a host of related events and concerts had been slated to begin on Thursday.

Live Nation, one of North America's largest concert promoters, is asking its artists currently on tour to return home, according to Rolling Stone and Billboard. The company is halting tours in the U.S. and abroad due to coronavirus fears.

Organizers of the Canadian Screen Awards, which honour the best in film and television, also announced Thursday they were cancelling their televised Mar. 29 gala and all related events that week, as a precaution.

CBC said its annual edition Canada Reads debate will no longer include a live audience.

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson test positive

Tom Hanks said Wednesday he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had tested positive for coronavirus.

"We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires," he said on Instagram.

Hanks has been working in Australia to shoot an Elvis Presley biopic. Warner Bros. said that production would be halted. 

Tom Hanks, left, and Rita Wilson say they've tested positive for coronavirus while in Australia. ( Jordan Strauss/Invision/The Associated Press)

Late-night talk shows tape without audiences

On Thursday, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show With James Corden joined other late-night talk shows in announcing they will tape without audiences.

That followed similar decisions by CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, NBC's Tonight Show and Late Night With Seth Meyers, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

CBS also said that production on the next season of Survivor was being postponed. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are no longer taping with audiences for now.

Costly closures

The closures, postponements and hiatuses are expected to be costly.

The shuttering of Chinese movie theatres — the world's second-largest movie market — for more than a month has already led to the loss of more than $1 billion US in ticket revenue. Last year, global box office sales reached a new high of $42.2 billion.

The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

With files from the Associated Press

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