The impact of COVID-19 on the global cinema business (as at 23/6/20)

As a poll reveals that 18.7m people intend to see a film in cinemas within a month of them re-opening today (22 June), French cinemas are back in business. The auditorium has 50% maximum capacity, guests will need to wear masks to their seat, and content will be mainly domestic films, at first those that were on release when cinemas shut on 15 March. Over half of the country’s screens were expected to open as of midnight Sunday.

In Australia, two more States have announced re-openings which completes the set. New South Wales will allow cinemas to re-open from 1 July, with a 25% capacity. The Victorian authorities are allowing then to open from 22 June, with a maximum of 50 people in each screen.

South African government has confirmed that discussions on when to re-open cinemas are ongoing and a date is expected soon but there is no set date as of today.

Ireland has once again brought forward the date that country’s cinemas can re-open to 29th June, from 20 July (and before that 10 August).

The last two German States are now allowing cinemas to open. The State of Niedersachsen allowed re-opening on 22nd June and Bremen on the 12 June.

The Hungarian state of emergency was lifted on 18 June, allowing cinemas to re-open but the rules surrounding that are unclear and not defined yet, so it is likely they will stay shut for now.

Malaysian cinemas will be allowed to open from 1 July, with a maximum capacity of 250 people and 1m distancing (which may mean fewer than 250).

On the distribution side, Paramount has taken the upcoming SpongeBob movie out of cinemas (was scheduled for 7 August) and will premiere it on PVOD before moving to CBS All Access in 2021 as part of a re-branding of that service.

As the government confirms that cinemas in England will be allowed to re-open on 4 July, in the UK, the local film distributor trade body FDA has organised a list of 450 films that exhibitors can tap into for release in their cinemas. The list is a mix of classic films, those that were on release when lockdown happened, and some recent Oscar winners.