It may not be the last.
“It’s futile to try and predict what will happen right now and it’s something only the studios can ultimately answer,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, told CNN Business. “We’re all in a wait-and-see mode.”
However, the virus has cast a shadow over the film industry as it moves closer to the summer movie season, arguably Hollywood’s most lucrative time period.
One such film that could feel the pinch: “F9,” the ninth installment of the highly successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, which opens on Memorial Day weekend in North America. The action series from Universal is a major international brand that makes most of its money from overseas theaters. “The Fate of the Furious,” the franchise’s last film, made more than 81% of its $1.2 billion gross outside of the United States.
Like “F9,” “Mulan,” Marvel’s “Black Widow,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Top Gun: Maverick” are all films that will open between now and July. They are expected to be some of the highest-grossing films of 2020, and in order to get there, they will have to rely on global totals.
A big global total was also important to “No Time to Die,” which is why it likely pushed its released, according to Robbins.
“It’s MGM’s biggest title of the year — by far — with significant overseas exposure,” he said. “They want a positive domestic result, but their overseas outlook is arguably more crucial for the film.”
Yet, for now, business continues as normal for the film industry and Hollywood.
The National Association of Theater Owners said in a statement following the delay of “No Time to Die” that “cinemas will remain open around the world with strong attendance, in line with local conditions, and in communication with local health officials.”
“The movie business is simultaneously global and local,” the organization said. “All theaters in the U.S. and Canada and the vast majority of movie theaters around the world remain open with strong ticket sales.”
“‘No Time To Die’ moved for reasons specific to that film and at least in North America it’s unlikely that we will see a sudden rush by studios to move release dates for films,” he said. “Of course, it’s an ever-changing situation and each studio will have to make their own decisions based on what’s best for their films, their employees and audiences.”