The impact of COVID-19 on the global cinema business update as of March 18 2020.

Update as at 18th March 2020

In the USA, Regal, AMC and Cinemark (the three largest cinema circuits) are closing all locations from 18th March until further notice. Cinemark will temporarily close all 345 of its U.S.  sites for an unspecified period of time. Meanwhile, all 630 AMC locations will be closed for six to 12 weeks. Regal Cinemas shut its 542 sites from Tuesday 17th March.

Showcase Cinemas (which operates 25 cinemas in the Northeast of the USA) and Landmark Theatres (50 sites across the USA) closed their cinemas from Monday night.

In Australia, Palace Cinemas is to shut its 20 national sites from 19th March for an indefinite period. The government advice is currently around social distancing and hygiene for entertainment venues. Larger circuit Hoyts is implementing in-seat separation, while Dendy Cinemas is releasing daily movie start times and is implementing staggered seating.

Disney has postponed the release of its next tentpole Black Widow, scheduled for 1 May, to an as yet unspecified date. Disney has also pushed back the Woman In The Window from its original May 15. Disney’s Searchlight Pictures’ The Personal History of David Copperfield is also postponed.

Lionsgate has postponed three titles Run, Spiral and Antebellum from their respective May 8, May 15 and April 24 release dates.

Paramount’s The LoveBirds, due out on 3 April, has been postponed.

India has shut down all movie and TV production in the country between 19 and 31 March, in the first instance, in a move agreed between all major stakeholders in the business.

In the festival sector, the Sydney Film Festival has been cancelled as has the Edinburgh Film Festival along with a number of others. It is to be expected that all festivals in the coming months will cancel, although one has already moved to online screenings and remote deliberations by the jury. So far, Cannes Film Festival is still on but if it does cancel, some of the main participants are putting together a contingency plan for a virtual market. The Cannes Lions advertising festival in June has been postponed until October.