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North American Box Office: Down 100% in Q2

Posted by: , 15:19 AEST, Thu May 28, 2020

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Movie business practically non-existent in second quarter of 2020
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Image/Photo Credit: m4tik @ Flickr

The COVID-19 crisis has affected almost all businesses, but the movie business has seen its revenue drop to almost nothing in the second quarter of 2020.

With movie theaters mostly closing starting in March, the first quarter results were already down 25.4% in North America before things really hit rock bottom. The second quarter, which ends at the end of June, so far has seen revenue drop an unprecedented 100% compared to the same quarter last year.

Overall, box office receipts are down 58.1% compared to the same period in 2019.

And the box office lull is expected to last until the end of the year according to Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter.

"Our estimates are clearly subject to change given the fluidity of the release slate and the mood on social distancing as stay-at-home orders begin lifting across the country," wrote Pachter in a May 26 note.

The first signs of recovery could happen in July, when the first in a series of big movies are expected to hit cinema screens. Movies doesn't come much bigger than Christopher Nolan's latest epic, Tenet, scheduled to be released on July 17. The distributors of the film, Warner Bros., recently took the unprecedented step of removing the release date from the movie's poster and the trailer, clearly hedging their bets as to whether it's safe, and profitable, to open theater doors in July.

Disney's live action 'Mulan' (trailer) will be released a week after on July 24, while 'Wonder Woman 1984' (trailer), also from Warner Bros., is set to be released a month later on August 13 (after having been delayed from its original June 5 release date). A full list of COVID-19 related movie cancellations and delays can be found here.

Over 102,000 people have died in the United States from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1,745,000 confirmed cases so far. There have been 87,000 cases in Canada with more than 6,700 deaths.


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