Coronavirus: Cinema and Film Industry Updates

An up-to-date guide on cinema closures, showtime cancellations, video-on-demand releases, and industry announcements

Here at WeLoveCinema, we're deeply saddened by the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its wide and devastating effect on the film industry throughout the world. With so much change in the air (and so many cinemas closing their doors), we've assembled this guide to keep you informed about what's going on within the industry, from cinema closures to VOD releases. And don't forget to support your local cinemas in any way you can, be it through donations or waving any refunds…

 

Current Status

The majority of London cinemas have temporarily closed their doors. The UK government has strongly advised against all non-essential contact.

 

Cinema Closures

The Prince Charles Cinema has also closed its doors. A statement on their website reads: “Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic – and following Government’s updated advice this week – our doors will be closing to ensure the safety and well being of our incredible staff and valued visitors.”


Curzon have announced their plans for temporary closure on March 19. Their statement reads: “At Curzon, the health and safety of our staff and customers is paramount and we have therefore made the difficult decision to temporarily close Curzon cinemas after our last evening show on Wednesday, 18 March. Curzon head office will also be closed during this time.”


The ICA has closed temporarily with immediate effect. On their website, a statement reads: “Following careful consideration of the current course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire ICA (exhibition spaces, Cinema, Theatre, Bookstore and Rochelle Canteen) will close to visitors and staff until further notice.”


Vue have closed their cinemas with immediate effect. A statement said: “Since the first news of the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been doing everything we can to provide a high-quality, enjoyable and safe big-screen experience for our customers. However in line with the UK Government’s latest public health advice we will be closing all our 91 cinemas in the UK & Ireland from today, March 17, until further notice.


The BFI Southbank has announced its immediate closure. A statement released through their website said: “It is with great regret that, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and following Government’s updated advice on 16 March, we have taken the decision to close BFI Southbank effective immediately, and all forthcoming events and screenings are now cancelled or postponed.”


Cineworld have also announced their plans to close their chain of cinemas from March 18. In a statement, the chain said: “We are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice.”


Picturehouse will close the doors to their cinemas from March 18. A spokesman for Picturehouse said: “It’s with great sadness that Picturehouse is today announcing the closure of all its cinemas across the UK starting from tomorrow, until further notice.”


Odeon have closed down their cinemas. Of the decision, a spokesman said: “In line with the latest government guidance on Covid-19, we are temporarily closing our cinemas. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

 

Video-on-Demand Releases

In response to closure of cinemas, studios have revealed plans to make some of their more recent cinematic releases and also upcoming releases available on video-on-demand and streaming services instead. Here's a comprehensive list of what's been slated for release so far.


Warner Bros. have announced they will release the Margot Robbie-starring Birds of Prey on VOD three months earlier than originally planned. It was still playing in cinemas until the mass closures, but will now be available on streaming services for purchase (March 24) and later to rent (April).


Universal have announced plans to make Trolls World Tour, The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma available early on home entertainment services. The rollout will begin from March 20th, with Trolls World Tour arriving on its initially scheduled release day of April 10.

 

Postponed Releases

No Time to Die 

Original release date: April 2020
New release date: November 16, 2020


A Quiet Place, Part II

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Unknown 2020


Mulan

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Unknown


Black Widow

Original release date: May 1 2020
New release date: Unknown


Fast & Furious 9

Original release date: May 2020
New release date: April 2, 2021

 

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