Movie theaters across the United States have reported absolutely no income whatsoever for the first time in the motion picture industry’s 100-year history.
Almost all the cinemas in the US were closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as in much of the rest of the world.
As a result, movie studios Walt Disney and Universal Pictures suspended the release of box office data.
Cinemas across the U.S. and in many countries around the globe have closed. So little in box office takings was recorded studios did not bother to report their figures
Hollywood’s two other main movie studios – Sony Pictures and Warner Bros also decided not to release any data this weekend.
The decision follows the worst weekend in more than two decades at the North American box office last week.
‘Given the current large number of theater shutdowns around the globe, Disney has suspended global weekend reporting for the time being. Wishing you and your families the best during these testing times and please be safe,’ Disney said in a statement.
Universal Pictures said it was also pausing the circulation to the media of box office data.
The final reporting weekend saw Disney’s latest release from Pixar, Onward, earning $10.5million in its second weekend
Movie studios typically release box office receipts from movie theaters around the world that measure the popularity of their films with the public.
However, in the past few days movie theater chains in the United States, Canada and Britain have shut down due to bans on large gatherings.
Italy, France, South Korea and other countries have imposed more stringent lockdowns in a bid to restrict the spread of the disease.
Movie theaters in China, Hollywood’s biggest overseas market, have been shuttered for months because of the virus.
Christian romance I Still Believe brought in $9.5million until the week ending March 15
Pamela McClintock who writes each week about box office takings for The Hollywood Reporter received an Excel spreadsheet on Sunday night – and it was completely blank.
‘Perhaps there were still enough locations open to make the effort worthwhile, but when I opened the attached excel sheet, it was empty and an inconceivable reminder that cinemas — like so many other businesses — have gone from full steam to no revenue in a ‘blink of an eye’.
‘I have been reporting the grosses since we started using computers to get the data and while I can’t remember the exact date, the year was 1988. Prior to that we used to get the grosses by calling a central hub and writing them by hand or actually calling the individual theaters to get the grosses if you can imagine that,’ Erik Lomis said in an email to THR.
‘Today in these wild and crazy times I don’t think that there is any reason to continue reporting until we make it through to the other side and return to some kind of normalcy. I believe that we are resilient and that we will make it through but it may take a little time.’
Sony’s comic-book adaptation Bloodshot with Vin Diesel, grossed an estimated $9.3million
In their final weekend of reporting up until March 15, ticket sales plunged to their lowest levels in at least 20 year.
Pixar/Disney’s animated film Onward retained the top spot for the second week, but saw ticket sales for the Friday-to-Sunday period plummet from $39 million to just $10.6 million.
Overall, the box office sank to $53.5 million – a figure even smaller than the weekends after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
In second spot for the final reporting weekend was new Sony film Bloodshot, a superhero film starring Vin Diesel. It took in $9.2 million.
Third spot went to another new release, Lionsgate’s I Still Believe, at $9.1 million. The cast of the Christian romantic drama includes country singer Shania Twain.
Universal’s thriller ‘The Invisible Man’ placed fourth, at $5.9 million. It stars Elisabeth Moss as the former girlfriend of a man who returns to haunt her after supposedly committing suicide.
And in fifth spot was another new film, Universal’s thriller The Hunt, at $5.3 million. Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin are among the stars in a tale of a dozen strangers who find themselves being pursued, as a sport, by a group of wealthy hunters.
The Box Office’s final weeks figures
Film March 6-8 March 13-15
Onward $39,119,861 $10,601,952
The Invisible Man $15,132,340 $5,890,805
Sonic The Hedgehog $7,704,067 $2,522,584
The Way Back $8,170,315 $2,356,115
The Call Of The Wild $6,762,405 $2,226,720
Emma $4,805,785 $1,295,215
Bad Boys For Life $3,022,087 $1,102,208
Birds Of Prey $2,137,794 $571,487
The Balboa Theater in San Francisco displays a sign saying it is temporarily closed