From "Trolls" to Oscars' Rules: Here's How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Already Changed the Film Industry

Photo Courtesy: DreamWorks Animation LLC/IMDb

Each May, theaters kick off the summer blockbusters, with Memorial Day Weekend serving as one of the most lucrative movie-going times of the year. As with most things, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into Hollywood’s release schedule. The newest (and 25th) James Bond film, No Time to Die, had to learn to die (well, debut) another day, with MGM and Universal pushing its release from April to Thanksgiving 2020.

Other big-budget blockbusters, like Disney’s Mulan, Marvel’s Black Widow and the DC Comics/Warner Bros. sequel Wonder Woman 1984, have all been pushed back. Needless to say, the summer release schedule is looking a little bleak — at least for now. The Great Rescheduling™ started in early March, just as the novel coronavirus reached pandemic status and followed the shuttering of China’s 70,000 theaters — a.k.a. the world’s second-biggest box-office territory. But the impact of the novel coronavirus extends much further than some scheduling issues. In fact, it has resulted in surprise video-on-demand blockbusters, Hollywood feuds and, perhaps most surprisingly, the notoriously slow-to-change Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ loosening of the qualifications for the Oscars.