COVID-19 has affected entertainment in more ways than one

Photo courtesy of Andreas Praefcke, Wikipedia

Social Distancing

The COVID-19 outbreak has re-oriented the way various industries in the United States operate, ever since it began to spread in rapid and concerning numbers. To quell the spread of COVID-19, states began to implement various social distancing policies. These policies call for a severe limitation on group activities. In the wake of these restrictions on large group events across several states, only essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are remaining open to the public. 

Film and Television

These changes have especially rocked the entertainment industry to its core. Film and television productions alike have halted filming in wake of these restrictions, leaving many television shows and films left unfinished due to prevention policies being implemented. For movies that had already concluded filming and were preparing for release, there have been a slew of premiere delays in wake of all movie theatres being closed.

Several movies, such as “Mulan,” “Black Widow,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” have been postponed with new dates to be determined in the future. Other films, such as “No Time to Die” and “Fast and Furious 9,” have been given new release dates for late 2020 and 2021 respectively.

In an unprecedented move, Kumail Nanjiani’s new romantic comedy, “The Lovebirds,” has cancelled its theatrical run entirely, opting to instead premiere directly on Netflix at a currently undisclosed date. Depending on the success or failure of this untried shift in premiere location, streaming services may become a more commonplace location for movie premieres.

COVID-19’s impact on the box office may long outlast the pandemic itself, with the pandemic itself predicted to cause a loss of $5 billion at the global box office. 

Broadway and Books

Television and film are not the only victims in the entertainment industry. Broadway took the severe step of “going dark” for a month, from March 12 to April 13, to potentially slow the spread of the virus in New York. New York has the most cases of any U.S. state, causing the state to take numerous precautions in order to limit opportunities for large groups of people to congregate.

One of the precautions that was taken was the move to postpone Book Expo America and BookCon. Book Expo America is a key convention for people in the book publishing industry such as book publishers and sellers, and BookCon is its fan equivalent. This convention is vital for people in the book publishing industry, which is largely based out of New York City. Book Expo and BookCon were originally scheduled for the last week of May, and were subsequently pushed back two months to late July. 


The music industry has also been deeply affected, with several artists having to alter tour schedules and move shows to later dates. Some have even had to cancel tour stops altogether if they could not be rescheduled. Such artists include Harry Styles, BTS and Billie Eilish, among many others.

Major music festivals such as Coachella have also been cancelled in compliance with social distancing policies. Musicians have been turning to their art during the social isolation era, while simultaneously reaching out to their fans via Instagram Live sessions in order to host mini-concerts. John Legend, Yungblud, Hozier, Niall Horan, Shawn Mendes and many other artists have all reached out to jam with their fans, with many more planning scheduled Instagram Live concerts as well. 

Staying positive

It is important to maintain a positive attitude during social distancing. Remember, humanity has faced worse crises and has emerged stronger than it was before in every instance. To keep your spirits up, check out some of the upcoming Instagram Live concerts, find a nice movie or show to watch and pick up that book you have been meaning to read. Allow art to act as a comforting force in this testing time.