Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Emily Zanotti.
Box offices raked in just $5,000 in the last week of March - the lowest ticket sales total in history - as Americans shun theaters to tune into streaming services at home.
"The outlook is grim for the movie industry at the moment, with cinema closures and postponed movie releases causing seismic shifts in the movie calendar. Now we know the box office impact of those measures to help stem the spread of the coronavirus," CNET reports
, based on numbers compiled by Box Office Mojo and a handful of Reddit users who keep track of movie industry cash flow.
Between March 20 and March 26, the U.S box office brought in just $5,000, compared to $200 million during the same week last year.
The Hollywood Reporter notes, of course, that most cinemas in the United States are shuttered in order to slow or curb the spread of coronavirus and all but a handful of states now have shelter-in-place orders, with theaters being among those businesses deemed non-essential. Even where theaters are still open, though, most Americans are electing to stay home and stream entertainment from companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+.
There has also been a downward trend for movies through the first quarter of 2020: "the US box office dropped by 25% compared to last year,"
CNET reports, citing The Hollywood Reporter. "That's a drop of $600 million."
Some studios are so desperate that they're releasing movies still playing in theaters on streaming services. Indiewire
reports that Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon Prime are seeing major rises, even as the box office experiences a decline.
"At this point, nearly all 2020 wide-release films - as well as key specialized titles - are either available for home viewing, or soon will be. And the initial impact is dramatic. Based on the charts at iTunes and Amazon Prime, which are updated daily, premium sales (largely priced at $19.99) are flying high,"
the outlet says. 'Both charts show strong performances for Vin Diesel's sci-fi cyborg revenge actioner "Bloodshot" (Sony) and for Pixar's "Onward" (Disney); at iTunes, initial results also are strong for "Birds of Prey" (Warner Bros.)."
Disney+ "continues to accrue revenue even when cheaper alternatives exist,"
Indiewire says. "'Frozen II' is already on Disney+, streamed free for subscribers, and [Pixar hit] 'Onward' will soon land there as well."
That accounts only for streaming movies; Netflix has a bona fide streaming hit with its true crime miniseries, "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness," and is seeing an uptick in viewership for the newest season of its drama, "Ozark."
HBO Go, typically a subscription streaming service, is trying to draw in new subscribers with 500 hours of free content - content that includes some of its most popular shows, movies, and docu-series, per TechCrunch
The change is so stark that some experts believe the coronavirus-driven shift may represent a permanent change for the entertainment industry, with viewers anticipating - and even expecting - more and better online content, including earlier access to digital versions of blockbuster movies.
"The Hollywood Reporter said it's 'too early' to tell just how massive of a toll the 2020 worldwide box office will suffer as a result of the pandemic,"
according to Fox News. "Film studios in Hollywood have already seen losses totaling $7 billion, the outlet said, and it's estimated that bottom line number could grow to as high as $17 billion by June."