Expert predicts losses, changes in entertainment industry due to Coronavirus

AS the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, the impact on the entertainment industry has started with the pushback of the release of the latest James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ to the fall from its original release date of April.
According to Matt Donnelly, the senior film writer of Variety magazine, this could be just the start of a ripple effect across the entire entertainment industry.
“The coronavirus has had a sort of, I think, an unprecedented and almost immediate effect on entertainment and media only because so much of the content and the product that these businesses generate are for mass consumption. If you look at a country like China which has basically padlocked their cinemas and encouraged the entire population to stay indoors, the losses are significant and they’re immediate. I think the latest estimates we have that by the start of summer, Hollywood would have lost a potential $5 billion at the box office,” he said.
If the US adopts a similar policy to China, France, and Italy to stop people gathering in crowds, it is not just cinemagoers who will lose out, but also actors and production units.
Talking about production, Donnelly said “It’s massive groups of people in small, confined spaces and that can affect everything from an outdoor scene with 900 extras in the background to an intimacy scene, a love scene between two actors. The possibility for transmission is everywhere so I think physical production is not only a hotbed of where this disease could spread but it also places the company into a really difficult area of liability.”
Traditional outings of celebrities to premieres and film junkets also look likely to be threatened.
“The entire ecosystem of how these movies come out is going to have to change and there’s going to be a lot of experimentation and responding in real-time,” said Donnelly.
But one of the biggest losers could be amusement parks, according to Donnelly.
“For companies like the Walt Disney Company, 47 percent of their annual operating revenue is from theme parks so now, you’re looking at Disney Shanghai being closed. If God forbids, Disneyland and Disney World in the US close, that’s basically operating at a half loss for the entire year which could devalue the stock and also cause panic everywhere else,” he said.
Reuters