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Coronavirus Cancellations In The Entertainment Industry: Black Widow, Wrestlemania, Matrix 4, And More

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, precautionary measures are being taken to limit human contact.


Blockbuster season is looking a whole lot different thanks to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which is causing major event cancelations, delays, and shifts in production schedules. Recently, Disney and Marvel announced a massive change in their upcoming MCU Phase 4 release dates, pushing films like Black Widow and The Eternals back several months. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers has pushed the release dates for upcoming projects like The Batman back after production was halted earlier this year.

Additionally, NASCAR has postponed all races until May 3 as NASCAR revealed in a Tweet, which you can see below. This is in hopes that the pandemic won't get any worse. Additionally, the XFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA all postponed or canceled their seasons as well.

While the pandemic hit affecting major sporting events, movie releases, and a whole lot more, it's also affecting individuals. Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson recently revealed that they've been tested positive for the coronavirus as well. The two are down in Australia and now following protocols from medical officials. Idris Elba recently revealed in a video that he's also infected with COVID-19 and plans on keeping the public updated throughout the upcoming days.

Events postponed, canceled, or moved:

Event cancelations continue to roll in, but perhaps the most impactful came when Comic-Con International (CCI) announced that San Diego Comic-Con would not be happening this year. This marks the first time in SDCC's fifty-year history that the event hasn't been held. The same day, Anime Expo, one of the largest anime conventions in the United States, also announced it would not be held.

Meanwhile, Gamescon 2020 has canceled the on-site event in favor of an entirely digital convention.

Earlier this year, coronavirus changes hit WWE's Wrestlemania. Originally taking place Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, it will now take place at the Performance Center outside of Orlando, and there will be no audience in attendance. The company waited until March 16 to make this announcement. Back on March 4, WWE made another statement about Wrestlemania saying, "We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events." As of the morning of March 5, 11 people are being tested in Tampa for COVID-19 after someone with the virus flew through Tampa's airport, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The annual Los Angeles event PaleyFest, which was supposed to run March 13-22, has now been postponed. Tickets will be refunded to all those who planned on attending, as the Paley Center looks at new dates later down the road. As for SXSW, the city of Austin has pulled the plug on the event at SXSW organizers are following the city's lead. This comes after reports of movie studios and talents pulling out of the show. You can see the full statement below.

An Update on SXSW 2020. Please read our full statement here:

— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020

Additionally, Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) postponed its annual comic convention until this summer. At this time, a new date has not been set for the Seattle convention, but after publisher and talent dropouts, as well as publishers canceling, it seems for the better.

Other event cancellations and postponements:

Movie and TV production:

The Disney+ original series The Falcon and Winter Soldier is filming in Prague, and according to Deadline, the local government has shut down schools and place travel restrictions. Following the city's lead, Marvel has stopped production on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier over coronavirus concerns. While the series films primarily in Atlanta, the show began production in Prague last Friday. Now, everyone is headed home, and there is no word at this time as to if production will return to the city. Additionally, there is no mention as to whether this production stall will delay the release date of the show, which is slated for this August.

Production on Mission Impossible 7 have been halted. Season 33 of CBS's reality show The Amazing Race has shut down its production, even though it's filmed three episodes in Scotland and England. There will more than likely be more news about TV shows and movies shutting down production as the virus spreads.

Other movie and TV production news:

Movie release delays:

Hollywood is also taking a hit, as countries are taking precautionary measures in order to slow down the rate of infection. China has closed 70,000 movie theaters across the country, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means new movie releases are postponed for the time being in the country. Both Disney's Mulan and Pixar's Onward have not secured new release dates in China, at the time of this writing. Recently, MGM and Universal Pictures decided to push back the worldwide release of the film No Time To Die until November.

Because many cities and states in the US are limiting the amount of people that can congregate in the same place--as Americans are trying to practice social distancing--and all of China's movie theaters are currently closed--movie release dates are being pushed back.

Other movie news:

Movie releases VOD:

While movie theaters shut down across the world, studios are realizing that the best way to tackle the pandemic and social distancing is to do video-on-demand. Universal announced they'll release movies as VOD the same day they were supposed to hit theaters. Beginning on March 20--which included Universal pictures movies already in theaters--you can rent a new release movie for 48-hours for $20, which is about the same price as two movie tickets. On March 20, you'll be able to watch The Hunt and The Invisible Man from your home, even though they're still "in theaters."

Other studios are delivering movies to viewer's homes earlier than expected. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker landed on digital four days early. Now, Birds of Prey will arrive digitally on March 24, much earlier than expected.

Theme parks:

Other major events could face being postponed, with the largest one being the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto. A laundry list of theme parks have also closed its doors including Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan, and Legoland Japan. Disneyland Park and California Adventure closed on March 14 with Disneyland Resort following suit on March 16. Hotels at Disney World Resort and Vero Beach Resort will close on March 20.

Other theme park news:

Additionally, production in general will be affected. Hasbro already reported delays in production and shipping due to the pandemic. "The occurrence of these types of events can result, and in the case of the coronavirus has resulted in, disruptions and damage to our business, caused by both the negative impact to our ability to design, develop, manufacture and ship product (the supply side impact) and the negative impact on consumer purchasing behavior (the demand side impact)," Hasbro wrote in the filing.

While it wasn't mentioned in the statement, this will more than likely affect the release of upcoming Baby Yoda toys, so fans of the adorable character will have an even longer wait to get their hands on the little green baby, who is actually 50-years-old.

Production Affected By Coronavirus

While this news may be a disappointment to most people, it's all about stopping the spread of the virus. The CDC has many precautions you can take in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus as well as some helpful tips to stay healthy.

Mat Elfring on Google+

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