Coronavirus: From canceled concerts to shut movie theaters, outbreak has crippled the entertainment world

Coronavirus: From canceled concerts to shut movie theaters, outbreak has crippled the entertainment world
(Getty Images)

The coronavirus outbreak has caused widespread havoc globally. The death toll continues to increase drastically, with growing concerns for life and well-being taking the forefront. However, it is the entertainment industry that has tremendously suffered at the hands of the virus causing the respiratory illness COVID-19.

The global pandemic that stemmed from its epicenter in Wuhan, China has claimed lives in the thousands. As of March 4, the World Health Organization has said more than 94,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed and spread rapidly across 80 countries.

The number of deaths add up to approximately 3,200. Governments have restricted the public from attending or organizing events that call for a mass gathering, due to safety issues.

For the entertainment industry, this essentially means deserted cinema halls and movie theatres, no concert-goers, lack of office staff and all in all no one to entertain. Here's everything you need to know of the status of the entertainment industry, as the virus continues to plague the world:


Global film and TV industry incur heavy losses

Photocall of Niki Caro, director of 'Mulan' and of Bina Daigeler, costume design director at Academia de las Artes Y las Ciencias on January 17, 2020 in Madrid, Spain (Getty Images)

Affected countries have declared emergencies in the wake of the outbreak and this has heavily impacted movie sales in China, South Korea, Italy, and especially Japan - one of the largest film-markets in the world.


Analysts say that COVID-19 could result in a global loss of at least $5 billion in box-office revenue, and the losses would only grow if the US film-market plunges below profit numbers.

In China, approximately 70,000 movie theatres have shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak, affecting box-office revenues acutely. Compared to the year-round sales in 2019 i.e. a whopping $1.76 billion, the ticket sales declined to a staggering $4.2 million during the traditional Chinese New Year holiday.


Similarly, South Korea sales have plummeted down by 70%, from $158 million to $52 million and its largest theatre chain has shut down all of its nine venues. Many locally-produced films have either been rescheduled or delayed, as well. Movie revenue from Italian theatres, likewise, has declined by 44%. Japan, on the other hand, is yet to release any data concerning movie sales, but the downfall is expected to be anywhere between 10-15%.



Tom Cruise headliner 'Mission: Impossible' stopped production for its newest installment in Venice, Italy. The premiere of James Bond sequel 'No Time to Die' has been postponed to November 2020. Disney's live-action, 'Mulan', Marvel’s ‘New Mutants’, Searchlight’s ‘Antlers’ and 'Superman: Red Son' have also canceled its premiere for the time being.


Production for ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ has been halted by Disney. Paramount’s ‘A Quiet Place II’ has delayed its release. Sony’s ‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runway’ has been shifted to premiere August 7. Magnolia Pictures’ documentary ‘Slay the Dragon’ has been postponed to April 3. ‘Fast and Furious 9’ release date has been pushed back to April 2021.



Broadway has paused all its productions until April 12. ‘Hamilton’ has been suspended at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood until March 31.

The following theatre performances have been canceled: ‘The Spongebob Musical’ at the Dolby Theatre (from March 12 to March 31); ‘The Book of Mormon’, ‘The Antipodes’ and ‘Block Party’ by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, and Kirk Douglas Theatre; all performances by The Music Centre at the Ahmanson Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, and Walt Disney Concert Hall; Roberto Devereux’s performance at LA Opera; Cal State Northridge’s performances at The Soraya from March 12 to  April 17; Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s performances until April 5.


The world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cinderella’ that was to begin performances in London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre on August 28, has been postponed to October 28.


On March 13, Ellen Degeneres announced that production on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ will remain suspended until March 30.


‘The Morning Show’ has gone on a 2-week production hiatus, Apple TV+ announced. The CW’s ‘Riverdale’ and CBS’ ‘Survivor’ have suspended production. 

The following talk-shows and reality shows will be taped without a live audience: Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’, HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’, ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, ‘Jeopardy!’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’, ‘Dr. Phil’, ‘The View’, and ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’.


CBS' ‘The Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, NBC's ‘The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’, and ‘The Wendy William Show’ have suspended production.

The new web streaming platform, ‘Quibi’, has canceled its launch party that was scheduled to be held a day before it went live on April 5 in California.

Netflix has also paused the production on its $168 million budgeted 'Red Notice', starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. Certain scenes in the series were to be shot in Italy, which holds the highest COVID-19 affected record in Europe.


Disney has canceled its London event celebrating the launch of its streaming service, Disney Plus. Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 has canceled its European Pitch event which was to be held in Munich.

Film festivals and award shows

Qumra 2020, an event where international and Arab filmmakers interact with each other, organized by the Doha Film Institute was called off. MIPTV, the annual international TV conference and all surrounding events scheduled between March 30 and April 2 in Cannes, has been canceled. 


The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that was to be held by May 2 in Cleveland has been postponed. The 22nd annual Ebertfest which was to be held between April 14 and April 17 in Champaign, Illinois has been canceled. The 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival which was to be held between April 15 and April 26 in Manhattan has been postponed. The 11th annual TCM Classic Film Festival which was to be held between April 16 and April 19 in Hollywood, has been canceled. The 20th annual Beverly Hills Film Festival, which was to be held between April 1 and April 5 has been indefinitely postponed.


The Prague International Film Festival which was set for March 19 - March 27, has been moved to 2020. SXSW, the film, music and tech festival which was slated to be held between March 13 and March 22 in Austin, has been canceled.

The 31st GLAAD Media Awards which was to be held in New York on March 19 has been canceled. The ‘AFI Directing Workshop for Women Class of 2020 Showcase’
‘Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs’, HBO’s annual live benefit hosted by Jon Stewart at Madison Square Garden, New York, has been moved from April 18 to a later date. The prestigious David Di Donatello Awards, set to be held in Rome, has been postponed from April 3 to May 8.


The Red Sea Film Festival, Saudi Arabia's paramount film event to be organized for the first time after the 35 year ban was lifted, has also been postponed. The 22nd annual Thessaloniki Documentary Festival that was to be held in Greece from March 5 to March 15 has been postponed to a later May or June date. In Switzerland, The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights set for March 6 and Rencontres 7e Art Luasanne (Think Cinema Luasanne) set for 4 March have been canceled.



Internationals studios including WarnerMedia and NBC Universal have instated travel bans. Sony has limited travel, while also shutting down its office branches in Europe. Amazon has restricted travel for its global staff, as well. 

Additionally, Viacom, eOne, STX, CAA, UTA, ICM Partners and Paradigm are among the companies that have advised their employees to work from home.


Music industry faces cancellations and reschedules

Guests attend Ultra Music Festival 2016 on March 18, 2016, in Miami, Florida (Getty Images)

The music industry has also been hit with the coronavirus scare, resulting in them pulling the plug on some performances.


Music festivals

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival slated to be held in Indio, California, from April 10 to April 12 and April 17 to April 19 has been moved to October 9 - October 11 and October 16- October 18. Stagecoach Country Music Festival has been shifted from April 24 - April 26 to October 23 - October 25.

Insomniac Events’ ‘Beyond Wonderland SoCal’ which was to be held on March 20 and March 21has been postponed to June 19 and June 20.


The Korea Times Music Festival that was to be held in Los Angeles has also been indefinitely postponed. The Ultra Music Festival, the 21-year-old music festival that was scheduled to be held between 20 March and 22 March in Miami, has been called off.

Tours and concerts

The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall have canceled their events.


Green Day, BTS, Stormzy and Bob Dylan have canceled their Asia tour. Mariah Carey, Khalid and Avril Lavigne announced that they'd be postponing the Asian leg of their respective tours.

Flogging Molly, the Celtic punk band has postponed its annual St Patrick’s day show that was scheduled for March 12-17. Pearl Jam has postponed the first leg of its tour that was scheduled to kick off in on March 18.


Maluma has canceled European dates for his tour. Billy Joel’s shows at MSG, New York, set for March 19 and April 10, have been rescheduled to September 10 and October 11, respectively. Santana has canceled its European tour. Zac Brown Band has postponed spring leg od its tour. Aaron Neville’s March concert dates have been rescheduled for September. Tour presenter, Live Nation, has canceled dates for Billie Eilish’s ‘Where do We Go’ tour and Halsey’s ‘Manic World Tour’.


Attractions, fairs and other events shut down

Disneyland, Tokyo (Getty Images).

Entertainment parks and resorts

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Resort will be closed from March 14 to 28. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim will remain closed from March 14 to March 31.


Japan's Tokyo Disney Resort will remain shut until 15 March following similar closure of its branches in Shanghai and Hong Kong in late January. Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan has also closed its doors to the public.

The Louvre museum in Paris has been shut down amid the outbreak. The biggest literature-related event, The London Book Fair, that was expecting a total of 25,000 authors, agents and publishers have been canceled.



Formula One has canceled the Chinese Grand Prix that was to be held between 17 April and 19 April. China's World Athletics Indoor Championships, originally supposed to be held between 13 March and 15 March, have been postponed to March 2021.

The NCAA has canceled its men’s and women’s basketball national championship tournaments. The NHL has suspended its season. Major League Soccer has suspended its season for 30 days. The annual Long Beach Grand Prix, which was to be held between April 17 and April 19, has been canceled. Spain’s top soccer league, La Liga, has suspended play for two weeks. 


Italy‘s pro soccer league Serie A has halted play completely mid-season. The  Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on March 12 will be closed to the public, said the Greek Olympic Committee.

France’s top soccer league Ligue 1 will play with no audience or a limited 1000 member audience until April 15.


Share this article:

 coronavirus outbreak events cancelled impact on global entertainment industry