Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cinema
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the film industry in 2020, mirroring its impacts across all arts sectors. Across the world and to varying degrees, cinemas and movie theaters have been closed, festivals have been cancelled or postponed, and film releases have been moved to future dates or delayed indefinitely. As cinemas and movie theaters closed, the global box office dropped by billions of dollars, streaming became more popular, and the stock of film exhibitors dropped dramatically. Many blockbusters originally scheduled to be released between March and November were postponed or canceled around the world, with film productions also being put on a halt.
The Chinese film industry had lost by March 2020, having closed all its cinemas during the Lunar New Year period that sustains the industry across Asia. North America saw its lowest box office weekend since 1998 between March 13–15.
Box officeIn early March 2020, it was predicted that the global box office could lose US$5 billion as a result of the pandemic.
Countries that are pandemic hot-spots have closed or restricted cinemas and movie theaters, negatively affecting film revenue. Attendance has also been lower in other regions. Following the pandemic in mainland China, 70,000 cinemas were closed in January 2020. In the first two months of 2020, China's box office was down to US$3.9 million, compared to US$2.148 billion in the first two months of 2019. Later, as a result of the pandemic in Italy, on March 8, 2020 the Italian government ordered all cinemas to be closed, for up to a month. Before the closure, box office tracking estimated a 94% drop for the weekend of March 6–8 compared to the same period the previous year. Because of the growing pandemic in France, cinemas are operating at half capacity, leaving strategic seats unavailable to reduce proximity in the screens, a move followed days later by the Irish and Northern Irish cinema chain Omniplex Cinemas. On March 12, Qatar also closed all cinemas, as did the US on March 17, Malaysia and Thailand on March 18, the UK on March 20, Australia and New Zealand on March 22, and Singapore on March 27. After a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and six other prefectures in Japan on April 7, over 220 cinemas were closed.
Percentage box office losses for January to March 3, 2020 are: 70–75% in Italy, 60% in South Korea, 35% in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore, and 30% in Taiwan. The Los Angeles box office, a key movie market and local economic backbone, was projected to fall by 20% in April 2020 compared to its 2019 figures, based on the state of emergency declared in the county at the start of March 2020. Despite the state of emergency, as single screens within movie theaters do not hold more than 1,000 people, they were granted an exemption from the ban on mass public gatherings in California. A National Association of Theatre Owners representative for California and Nevada announced that theaters would stay open; historically, movie theaters have remained open during other similar emergencies. However, a survey of Americans over the opening March weekend showed support for closing movie theaters. On March 15, Deadline reported that over 100 movie theaters in the US had closed, some due to local rulings and others because of an inability to keep them open with no demand; on March 17, with national restrictions to social gatherings, cinemas across the United States closed. However, drive-in theaters, where customers stay in their own cars, were not closed, and quickly grew in popularity again.
The opening March weekend saw a dramatically lower box office than the same weekend in 2019. The 2019 opening March weekend saw the release of Captain Marvel, which alone earned over US$153 million domestically that weekend, compared to the 2020 weekend's biggest film, Onward, with around US$39 million. The next weekend saw the lowest total US box office intake since the October 30–November 1, 1998 weekend, with lower percentage drops than the weekend after 9/11, at US$55.3 million. Onward itself saw the biggest weekend-to-weekend drop of any Pixar film, making $10.5 million, though was still the weekend's biggest film and the only one to make over $10 million. On March 19, Walt Disney Studios and Universal Pictures announced that they would no longer report box office figures. Comscore therefore announced the next day that it would indefinitely suspend its reporting of box office estimates and charts.
On March 26, after local transmission of the virus had dropped to 0% in China, movie theaters there began to re-open, with reports that 250–500 theaters were opening, but the next day authorities again closed all movie theaters in the country.
AwardsTwo award ceremonies were held after the coronavirus became widespread: the 45th César Awards on February 28, and the 43rd Japan Academy Film Prize on March 6. The Japanese Academy Prize ceremony went ahead on March 6. However, the ceremony was conducted without any guests or journalists. The 14th Seiyu Awards cancelled its live ceremony scheduled for March 7 in Tokyo and instead broadcast the winners on Nippon Cultural Broadcasting's internet radio program. The 40th Golden Raspberry Awards were initially intended to take place as planned on March 14. However, it was ultimately cancelled. The ceremony's winners were announced on their YouTube channel on March 16.
The International Indian Film Academy Awards, planned to take place on March 27, was canceled, while the Italian Academy's David di Donatello ceremony has been postponed from April 3 to May 8. The American Film Institute's lifetime achievement ceremony to honor Julie Andrews was pushed back from April to the summer. The 2020 Platino Awards were also postponed.
The Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards modified their eligibility criteria for their 2021 editions, as they usually require that a film be screened theatrically for a minimum length of time. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association stated that films released via non-theatrical means would be eligible if they were scheduled to have a "bona fide theatrical release" in Los Angeles after March 15. The Best Foreign Language Film award will similarly offer eligibility for films originally scheduled for a theatrical release in their country of origin between March 15 and a date to be determined. The 93rd Academy Awards will similarly allow films released via password-protected or transactional video on demand to be eligible if they were originally scheduled to have a theatrical release. Once cinemas have sufficiently resumed operations, the requirement that a film be screened for at least a week will be reinstated. In addition to Los Angeles, eligible screenings will also be allowed to take place in one of five other major U.S. cities.
On June 15, it was announced that the Academy Awards would be pushed back by two months from February 28 to April 25, so that the cutoff for eligibility could likewise be extended from December 31, 2020 to February 28. The Academy Governors Awards and Scientific and Technical Awards have been postponed indefinitely. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts subsequently announced that it would follow suit and postpone the 74th British Academy Film Awards to April. On June 22, the Golden Globe Awards were also delayed from early-January to February 28, 2021.
In Canada, the pandemic shutdown forced the cancellation of both the 8th Canadian Screen Awards and the 22nd Quebec Cinema Awards. Both programs ultimately announced their winners through virtual livestreaming, the Canadian Screen Awards presenting film winners on May 28, and the Quebec Cinema Awards presented on June 10. As of August 2020, neither the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television nor Québec Cinéma have announced their plans for the 2021 ceremonies.
FestivalsMany festivals and events have been cancelled or postponed. Postponements include the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, set to begin on March 5 and rescheduled for June 2020; the Beijing International Film Festival, planned for April 2020 and postponed indefinitely; the Prague International Film Festival, moved from late March to sometime later in 2020; the Bentonville Film Festival, set for April 29 – May 2 and moved to August; the Istanbul International Film Festival, set for April 10–21 and postponed to a later date in 2020; and the Tribeca Film Festival. The Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, a two-week festival in March, experienced low attendance during its first week and postponed its second week to August 2020. The 20th Beverly Hills Film Festival scheduled for April 1–15 is postponed indefinitely. The 38th Fajr International Film Festival, scheduled for April 16–24 in Tehran, has been postponed, with plans to organize the event in late spring. The 2020 Metro Manila Summer Film Festival, originally scheduled for April 11–21, was also postponed after the decision to place Metro Manila under community quarantine was announced.
Canceled events include the Swiss International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, planned for early March; the Red Sea International Film Festival, which was to be held for the first time in March 2020; the March 2020 South by Southwest, which would have included film screenings; the 2020 ; Nickelodeon's 2020 Slimefest festival; the Disney+ European launch press event; Fox Broadcasting Company's upfronts and program presentations; Qumra, the Doha Film Institute's international directors' conference; Hong Kong Filmart, a large film market event; the National Association of Theatre Owners' CinemaCon 2020; and Lille's Series Mania television festival. The 22nd edition of Ebertfest and the 44th edition of the Cleveland International Film Festival are cancelled. New Jersey's global film festival, Garden State Film Festival, scheduled for March 25–29, cancelled their in-person Asbury Park-based festival, however will be proceeding with the original schedule in a real-time live-streaming online format. The 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was canceled and postponed to 2021, with an unofficial "54 ½" edition of the event scheduled for November.
The 2020 Cannes Film Festival sent out invitations on March 6, despite France implementing limits on public gatherings beyond its scheduled dates; the Cannes Television Festivals Canneseries and MIPTV chose not to run, however, with Canneseries rescheduling for October and MIPTV canceling its event. On March 19, the Festival de Cannes announced that it cannot be held on the scheduled dates, from May 12–23. Several options are considered in order to preserve its running, the main one being a simple postponement, in Cannes, until the end of June-beginning of July 2020. Cannes' main venue has been converted into a temporary homeless shelter.
Some festivals, including Tribeca, SXSW, ReelAbilities, TCM Classic Film Festival, and the Greenwich International Film Festival have created new online programming in lieu of having an in-person festival. The 2020 Toronto International Film Festival is also planned to proceed at least partially online; on July 30, TIFF programmers announced a much smaller than normal lineup of feature films that will be screened at drive-in theatre venues and online.
Within the industry, it is suggested that after the pandemic is contained and major events reschedule, the less-important business events and festivals may be more permanently removed from industry calendars, to allow more important events to happen, because they may be deemed unnecessary if no great effect is felt by their cancellations, and to ease finances of the industry as it enters a recession brought about by coronavirus-caused losses.
The Tribeca Film Festival and YouTube worked with several international partner film festivals to launch, an international online festival of films screening for free on YouTube between May 29 and June 7.
Due to the unprecedented interruption of film productions caused by the pandemic, the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland has asked directors including Lucrecia Martel and Lav Diaz to select films from the festival's 74 year history for a retrospective that will be screened online and in physical locations.
Theatrical releasesOn January 22, 2020 the Chinese blockbuster Lost in Russia canceled its theatrical release and was sent to streaming platforms. It was made available to watch for free, a move said to encourage people to watch it and stay home. The next day, all theaters in China were closed. On January 31, Enter the Fat Dragon also premiered online. Lost in Russia was streamed by 180 million accounts in the first three days after its release; China's highest-grossing film was 2017's Wolf Warrior 2, which had sold a total of over 160 million tickets worldwide. At the beginning of February, American films set to premiere in China over February and March were officially canceled. Chinese media companies began making more films free online through January. Asian markets also saw Chinese and Hong Kong film distributors cancel exports over the Lunar New Year holiday, including for the films Vanguard, Detective Chinatown 3, The Rescue, and Legend of Deification; Taiwanese film Do You Love Me As I Love You had its Asian release moved to April. Cinemas in Asian countries without public restrictions have been increasing hygiene measures, with the spokesperson for one chain saying that they added more hand sanitizer dispensers, performed temperature checks on staff and moviegoers, cleaned facilities more frequently, and displayed public health warnings on the movie screens. The Lunar New Year holiday is a large market for film releases across Asia, but was stunted in 2020 as the outbreak began rapidly spreading over this period of time.
At the start of March, the James Bond film No Time to Die, which was scheduled to premiere in March 2020 and to wide release in April 2020, was postponed to November. No Time to Die was the first film to change its planned release outside of China because of the coronavirus outbreak, and has opened discussions of dramatic implications on the film economy: many other productions had avoided scheduling releases at the same time as the 25th Bond film, and its new November date is in the busy holiday release period, leading to low box office intake in March/April and uncertain intake in November. However, the postponement could reportedly generate more publicity for the film, and is also taking the familiar November release slot of the past two Bond films. It has also been suggested that other high-profile films will follow and postpone releases, creating a similar effect. Several other films soon followed in postponing their releases worldwide: the heavily-promoted Polish slasher film W lesie dziś nie zaśnie nikt was postponed from March 13 to some point in the future when the situation had settled, and the political documentary Slay the Dragon had its theatrical release moved from March 13 to April 3.
' was initially scheduled to be released in the UK and the US in late March and early April respectively, but due to uncertainty over the outbreak, the film was postponed to early August before being postponed once again to January 15, 2021. Sony Pictures, the film's production company, said that the changes internationally were because of coronavirus fears, with the US release moved in sync over worries of pirate copies and because the rival children's film DreamWorks/Universal's Trolls World Tour had moved its release date earlier, to the same weekend Peter Rabbit 2 was initially planned to release on. Trolls World Tour
Other major films have postponed releases in certain countries. The Disney/Pixar film Onward, released on the opening March weekend, was not opened in the areas most affected by the coronavirus outbreak; while cinemas were closed in China, it also chose not to open in South Korea, Italy or Japan. Other March 2020 releases A Quiet Place Part II and Mulan postponed their releases in affected areas, too. This prompted worry that, should March film openings underperform, blockbusters set for release in May would move their dates later in the calendar. Mulan not opening in China, where it aimed to make most of its money, was particularly concerning, especially with the possibility that pirate copies will appear and prevent Chinese people from going to see it in cinemas when it is released. Comparatively, A Quiet Place Part II had not anticipated a large Chinese draw, as the box office for the first A Quiet Place in the country was only 10% of its total.
On March 12, 2020, it was announced that the global release of A Quiet Place Part II would be delayed, based on widespread advice and policies against large gatherings and it was first rescheduled to September 4, 2020 in time for the Labor Day weekend, then to its new date of April 23, 2021 due to the continuous virus surging in the United States. On the same day, the release of Indian film Sooryavanshi, which was initially scheduled to release on March 24, was postponed indefinitely, and the release of F9 was pushed to April 2, 2021. Mulan
Warner Bros. followed Disney by announcing the postponement of the rest of their upcoming catalog on March 24; Wonder Woman 1984 was pushed to August 14, 2020, then again to October 2, 2020, with Scoob!, In the Heights, and Malignant being delayed indefinitely. This resulted in Scoob! not having a theatrical release in North America and that film went straight to video on demand, while In the Heights moved to its new release date of June 18, 2021. Prior to this, on March 19, Universal and Illumination announced that ' had been pulled from its intended release date of July 3, 2020, not only due to the pandemic but also due to the temporary closing of its French Illumination Mac Guff animation studio in response to the pandemic, which would leave the film's animation to be unfinished on its original date. On April 1, 2020, the film was rescheduled for July 2, 2021 taking the planned release date of Sing 2, a year after its original date.
Early home media releasesThe 2019 film Frozen II was originally planned to be released on Disney+ on June 26, 2020, before it was moved up to March 15. Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained that this was because of the film's "powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant". On March 16, 2020, Universal announced that The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma – all films in theaters at the time – would be available through Premium video on demand as early as March 20 at a suggested price of each. After suffering poor box office since its release at the start of March, Onward was made available to purchase digitally on March 21, and was added to Disney+ on April 3. Paramount announced on March 20, Sonic the Hedgehog is also planning to have an early release to video on demand, on March 31. On March 16, Warner Bros. announced that Birds of Prey would be released early to video on demand on March 24. On April 3, Disney announced that Artemis Fowl, a film adaptation of the 2001 book of the same name, would move straight to Disney+ on June 12, skipping a theatrical release entirely.
Trolls World Tour was released directly to video-on-demand rental upon its release on April 10, with limited theatrical screenings in the U.S. via drive-in cinemas. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell told The Wall Street Journal on April 28 that the film had reached $100 million in revenue, and stated that the company had not ruled out performing releases "in both formats" as cinemas reopen.
Chinese regulators, as well as the U.S. National Association of Theatre Owners, have highly discouraged film distributors from engaging in this practice, in defense of the cinema industry. On April 28, in response to Shell's comments, U.S. chain AMC Theatres announced that it would cease the screening of Universal Pictures films effective immediately, and threatened similar actions against any other exhibitor who "unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us".
ProductionsFilm productions in the key outbreak zones have changed their schedules, changed location, or have shut down completely. Sony Pictures closed its offices in London, Paris, and Poland after an employee was thought to have been exposed to the virus. The Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA have canceled all in-person meetings. The Hengdian World Studios in Dongyang, China, has closed indefinitely. The Filipino movie studios Star Cinema, Regal Entertainment, and Cinema One Originals also suspended shooting of their films, effective March 15, the same day as a quarantine in Metro Manila and Cainta, Rizal was enacted.
Several Chinese and Hong Kong films have stopped production, including Blossoms, the upcoming film directed by Wong Kar-wai, which was scheduled to shoot in Shanghai; Jia Zhangke's next film, which was planning to begin filming in China in April, but has been put on hold until at least next spring, with Zhangke saying he might even rewrite the script; and Polar Rescue, a Donnie Yen film, which shut down production until the end of the year.
One of the first big production shutdowns was that of , which was filming in Venice, Italy when the crew was sent home and the sets left behind. After actor Tom Hanks became infected with the coronavirus, the Elvis Presley biopic he was working on in Queensland, Australia was shut down, with everyone on the production put into quarantine. Production company Warner Bros. began working with the Australian public health services to identify other people who may have been in contact with Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who had been performing at venues including the Sydney Opera House shortly before both were tested positive. The Marvel Studios film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was also shooting in Australia, had its first unit production temporarily suspended on March 12, 2020 due to director Destin Daniel Cretton self-isolating while awaiting results for a coronavirus test, which came back negative.
Theatrical releasesThis section lists films which have had their theatrical releases cancelled, resulting in an alternative method of release, as well as films with delayed releases.
|Film||Alternative method of release|
|An American Pickle||To be released on HBO Max on August 6, 2020.|
|Artemis Fowl||Released on Disney+ on June 12, 2020.|
|Bad Trip||Accidentally released on Prime Video on April 17, 2020. Will be released on Netflix on a yet-to-be-determined date.|
|Beastie Boys Story||Released on Apple TV+ on April 24, 2020.|
|Blue Story||Released on VOD on May 5, 2020.|
|Capone||Released on VOD on May 12, 2020.|
|Charm City Kings||To be released on HBO Max on a yet-to-be-determined date.|
|Clouds||To be released on Disney+ in late 2020.|
|Endings, Beginnings||Released on VOD on April 17, 2020.|
|Enola Holmes||To be released on Netflix in September 2020.|
|Enter the Fat Dragon||Premiered online.|
|Forte||Released on Prime Video on April 15, 2020.|
|Greyhound||Released on Apple TV+ on July 10, 2020.|
|'||To be released on Netflix on August 12, 2020.|
|Hamilton||Released on Disney+ on July 3, 2020.|
|Lost in Russia||Released on TikTok, Toutiao, Xigua on January 25, 2020 for free.|
|The Lovebirds||Released on Netflix on May 22, 2020.|
|My Spy||Released on Prime Video on June 26, 2020. Premiered in the Philippines via SM Cinemas Movies at Sundown Drive-In Cinema in SM City Pampanga Ampitheater on July 31.|
|Ode to Passion||The film's premiere at the Queens World Film Festival on March 21, 2020 was cancelled when all film festivals at that time were forced to go virtual. Released on Prime Video on July 10, 2020.|
|The One and Only Ivan||To be released on Disney+ on August 21, 2020.|
|Run Sweetheart Run||Theatrical release cancelled and to be released on Prime Video on a yet-to-be-determined date.|
|'||The film's Fathom Events release on March 23, 2020 was cancelled after theaters across the country closed as a precautionary measure. The episode of Steven Universe Future that was supposed to play after this screening, "Homeworld Bound", showed up on Cartoon Network's website the same day the event was to take place.|
|Tammy's Always Dying||Released on VOD on May 1, 2020.|
|Think Like a Dog||Released on VOD on June 9, 2020.|
|Time to Hunt||Theatrical release cancelled. Originally to have been released on Netflix on April 10, 2020, the streaming service's debut of the film was itself postponed two days earlier to comply with a ruling in the Seoul Central District Court regarding distribution contracts. The film was released on April 23, 2020.|
|The Trial of the Chicago 7||To be released on Netflix on October 16, 2020.|
|A Whisker Away||Released on Netflix on June 18, 2020.|
|Without Remorse||To be released on Prime Video on a yet-to-be-determined date.|
|Working Man||Released on VOD on May 5, 2020.|
|You Should Have Left||Released on VOD on June 18, 2020.|
Simultaneous theatrical and VOD releases
- Bill & Ted Face the Music – To be released in select theatres, and on VOD on September 1, 2020.
- Fatima – To be released in select theaters, and on VOD on August 28, 2020.
- The High Note – Released in select theatres, drive-in theatres, and on VOD on May 29, 2020.
- Irresistible – Released in select theatres, drive-in theatres, and on VOD on June 26, 2020.
- The King of Staten Island – Released on VOD in North America on June 12, 2020, later released in theatres in select countries with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions beginning June 25, 2020.
- The Outpost – Released in select theatres and on VOD on July 3, 2020.
- Scoob! – Released on VOD in North America on May 15, 2020, later released in theaters in select countries with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions beginning July 8, 2020.
- - To be released in Canadian theatres on August 14, 2020 and on VOD in early 2021.
- Tesla – To be released in theatres and on VOD on August 21, 2020.
- Trolls World Tour – Released on VOD on April 6, 2020 in Europe and released in select drive-in theatres and on VOD on April 10, 2020 in the United States.
- Valley Girl – Released in select drive-in theatres and on VOD on May 8, 2020.
- The Wretched – Released in select theatres, drive-in theatres, and on VOD on May 1, 2020.
|Film||Original release date||New release date or action taken|
|Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar|
|Bloodshot||Delayed in China.|
|The Broken Hearts Gallery||TBA|
|The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese|
|Cut Throat City||TBA|
|Death on the Nile|
|Detective Chinatown 3||TBA|
|Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet|
|'||Delayed in the United States.|
|Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness|
|Dungeons & Dragons|
|The Empty Man|
|Escape Room 2|
|Fate/Grand Order - Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot||TBA|
|The Forever Purge|
|The French Dispatch||TBA|
|Go! Anpanman: Fluffy Fuwari and the Cloud Country||Summer 2021|
|Godzilla vs. Kong|
|The Green Knight||TBA|
|Greenland||Delayed in the United States until September 25, 2020.|
|Hello, Tyranno||Summer 2020||Delayed in Japan.|
|The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard|
|Indiana Jones 5|
|In the Heights|
|John Wick 4|
|Judas and the Black Messiah||TBA|
|Kaamelott - Premier Volet|
|Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!|
|The Last Duel|
|Last Night in Soho|
|The Last Vermeer||TBA|
|Legend of Deification||TBA|
|Love Me, Love Me Not||TBA|
|Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul||Delayed in the United States.|
|Majo Minarai o Sagashite||Fall 2020|
|The Man from Toronto|
|The Many Saints of Newark|
|The Matrix 4|
|The New Mutants|
|No Time to Die|
|Onward||Delayed in New Zealand until April 24, 2020, Japan until August 21, 2020, and Italy and South Korea until further notice.|
|The Personal History of David Copperfield|
|Pretty Cure Miracle Leap: A Wonderful Day with Everyone|
|Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal – Part 1|
|Promising Young Woman||TBA|
|A Quiet Place Part II|
|Raya and the Last Dragon|
|'||Delayed in the United Kingdom until September 17, 2020|
|Revue Starlight Rondo Rondo Rondo||TBA|
|Ron's Gone Wrong|
|The Salt of Tears|
|Scott Pilgrim vs. the World||TBA|
|The Secret Garden|
|Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings|
|Shimajirō & the Sky Flying Ship||TBA|
|Slay the Dragon|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||Delayed in Japan until June 26, 2020 and in China until further notice.|
|Stand by Me Doraemon 2||TBA|
|Tom and Jerry|
|The Tomorrow War|
|Ultraman Taiga The Movie|
|Untitled Star Wars film|
|Untitled second Star Wars film|
|Untitled third Star Wars film|
|Violet Evergarden the Movie|
|What About Love|
|The Witches||TBA, 2021|
|The Woman in the Window||TBA|
|Wonder Woman 1984|
|Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop||TBA|
ExhibitorsThe stock of exhibitors, companies that own and finance showing films in cinemas and theaters, began and continued falling even as the global stock market rebounded. Mid-week on March 4, 2020, Cinemark fell by 0.53% and AMC by 3.5%. That day, No Time to Die had its release postponed; by March 6, AMC's shares had fallen by 30% over two weeks. Between March 4 and 6, Cineworld's shares fell 20%, and fell another 24% on March 12. The falls result from a combination of AMC closing selected cinemas in Italy and the lack of confidence in the market created by No Time to Die moving its release date; other new releases on its original opening weekend will not be as much of a draw for moviegoers and could result in financial losses for the chains showing them. The in-theater advertising company National CineMedia also reported stock falling, by 1.25% on March 4. By March 12, Cinemark, AMC and National CineMedia stocks had all fallen by over 35% since the beginning of the month. Cineworld, which is the second biggest cinema chain in the world, warned on March 12, when multiple films pushed back their releases, that extended disruption and continuing falling stock could cause the company to collapse. In a strategy called virtual cinema, some film distributors have created new partnerships with small movie theaters and art houses to provide a portion of online streaming sales, including Kino Lorber, Film Movement, Music Box Films, Hope Runs High, and Oscilloscope Labs.
The BBC noted that popularity of streaming services could increase, especially if more people are isolated at home, with The Guardian suggesting that non-blockbuster films may be sent to streaming more quickly than anticipated after release, to catch this market. One popular movie to stream was 2011's Contagion, which moved up from being the 270th most-watched Warner Bros. film in December 2019 to become its 2nd most-watched film in 2020 and entered the top 10 on ITunes movie rentals, said to be because of the similarities its story bears to the outbreak. The stock of Netflix increased in 2020 by March 12. The platform had released its original docu-series at the end of January 2020. Disney+ went live in India on March 11, eighteen days before it was set to, though Disney's shares had fallen by 23% on March 9.