Last year, a long list of movies was set to be released in 2020 and out of all of those, only a few got lucky and made it to the big screen in the first 2 months, when lockdowns were yet to be implemented and theaters were still considered a safe place.
Digital is the obvious bet right now for most film industries in the world. This became obvious when one prominent streaming service, Netflix, made many new releases, locally and internationally.
The American Film Market (AFM) also started to take a leap outside the traditional physical markets by deciding to move online for the year 2020. AFM welcomes thousands of professionals from more than 70 countries annually, every November, but chances are low it will be the same for 2020 for any major global event.
For the people in Hollywood, it’s like the year didn’t even happen that they have to “write off 2020.” An anonymous top agent also said via Vulture that “anyone who says that everything is not totally fucked is lying. Everything has changed in what we do.” Jobs were lost, deals were canceled, unpredictable income, a movie calendar that has more blank spaces – this is what the movie industry is now.
Hollywood has 40 postponed movies so far and some of its release dates have been moved to the last 4 months of the year such as Black Widow (from May 1 to Nov. 6), Wonder Woman 1984 (from June 5 to Aug. 14 to Oct. 2), Jordan Peele’s Candyman (from June 12 to Sept. 25 to Oct. 16), Top Gun: Maverick (from June 24 to Dec. 23), while the rest will be theatrically released, if the world does improve, in 2021.
For optimists, this can be interpreted as a temporary doomsday, with a deadline in September. After all, people always look for movies and things to watch on TV. But when the movie industry actually does rise from the pandemic, nothing will ever go back to normal.