As of right now, me sitting here writing this article, movie studios have pulled MULAN, THE NEW MUTANTS, ANTLERS, and A QUIET PLACE 2 from their release schedules in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Will there be others? Probably. How bad is this thing going to get? How long will it last? No one really knows. Right now, folks in the US seem to be in panic mode, thinking that hoarding toilet paper will for some bizarre reason make them safer. There’s erring on the side of caution, there’s taking necessary precautions, and then there’s stupidity. My personal opinion is that we’re leaning closer to the latter, but again, nobody really knows.
Let me try to be a voice of calm. What they’re trying to do here is not stop the disease but slow it down, because it spreads so fast. The vast majority of people who get it, if they get it, will experience only mild symptoms, if they have symptoms at all. Old people and those with compromised immune systems are the ones at risk. Why the panic, then? The concern is not a high mortality rate, but too many people all getting sick all at once and overloading hospitals and doctors. That’s what they’re trying to mitigate.
For the movie studios, though–and let me stress this, if you’re worried that this is a sign of imminent doom–this is strictly a financial decision. It makes sense, too. Movie studios are dependent not only on revenue from US theaters but from theaters all over the world. If they released a big movie right now, when the whole frikkin’ planet is in duck-and-cover mode, they’d lose money. That’s why they’ve decided to wait it out.
It sucks for those of us who love going to the movies, but we must remember that this is a First World problem. I’m sure I’ll do my share of bitching, too, but I’ll also try to remember that for some people (not many, thank God) this thing really might be a life or death situation.
Let’s all just chill and wait it out. We can’t do anything else. God willing, things will be back to normal sooner rather than later.
Oh, and WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS.