COVID-19 reduces film releases in almost three times compared to last year

Photo by Karen Zhao on Unsplash

A quick consult in IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, reveals that the film industry has been hit heavily with the health and economic world crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.

Comparing film releases between the first third of 2019 and the same period for this year, there is a massive drop of 63.44%. This includes all feature films registered on IMDb all around the world, released in every different format, including cinema theatres or online streamings.

The impact of the crisis becomes even clearer when film releases are broken down by countries where they were produced.

China, still in January, was the first country to impose a severe lockdown in the world. The country issued only four new films during the first four months of 2020, compared to 24 last year. Italy, the first and worst hit European country until the moment, started the lockdown in early March and had 25 releases by this time in 2019, plummeting to less than half in 2020.

The new James Bond film, No Time to Die, was the first big studio film to have its launching postponed shocking the industry at that time. Soon other big movies would follow including Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow and A Quiet Place Part 2.

Most of these films were moved to June or July, but it is still uncertain whether cinemas will be open by then. The film industry prepares to suffer a huge blow this year, having in mind that even lockdown measures are lifted, people wouldn’t be confident enough to go to theatres.

Only movies with at least 100 ratings on IMDb were included in the research. To be considered a feature, a film has to be at least 40 minutes long according to the American Film Institute, the British Film Institute, and the Oscars standards.

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