The coronavirus outbreak is having a major effect on the entertainment industry, and perhaps nobody has been hit harder than Disney. As the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and nobody is bigger than Disney in the modern entertainment landscape. Recently, the company was forced to close its theme parks temporarily in the U.S. and the shutdown is proving to be extremely costly on a day-to-day basis.
According to a new report detailing the state of the entertainment industry as a whole amidst the COVID-19 crisis, it was revealed that Disney is losing between $20 and $30 million per day from the closures of its theme parks alone. Disneyland and Walt Disney World were forced to close their doors for the time being, as the government has cautioned against gatherings of more than ten people, with "social distancing" strongly encouraged. As such, theme parks are not feasibly able to operate at this time. While public health is of the utmost importance, the economic consequences of the shutdown remain dire.
Universal was also recently forced to close its theme parks in the U.S. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida have been shut down for an indefinite period of time. It's not known how much closure will cost Universal, but the number is probably in the millions as well.
And this is just one factor in Disney's overall outlook. The movie side of things is also looking rough for the time being. Along with other studios, Disney delayed the release of Mulan, The New Mutants, Antlers and Black Widow as movie theaters all across the world are shut down, costing the industry hundreds of millions in box office. At the same time, the company has also had to temporarily shut down several current and upcoming productions, which is costing millions as well. Shrunk, The Little Mermaid live-action remake, Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley and Ridley Scott's The Last Duel were amongst the productions affected by the delay.
The especially troubling thing here is that the Disneyland/Disney World shutdown is a single example that shows what is going on all across the industry right now. Smaller studios that are more dependent on cash flow may run into serious trouble as the box office dries up. Certain companies may not be able to weather the storm. Or, to do so, cuts will be made. Even when things do return to normal, whenever that may be, the landscape will be altered, that much is certain.
To make matters worse, Disney, and other studios, have lost hundreds of millions, and in some cases, billions in value as the stock market has plummeted amidst the chaos. Unfortunately, things may get worse before they get better. For now, there is no word on when Disneyland, Disney World, or other theme parks that have been forced to close, will be able to reopen. We will be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news comes to us via Variety.