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11 things that the pandemic has changed in the cinema world

Monitoring Desk

Hollywood is shooting in Australia, Chinese blockbusters are topping the cinema charts, the US market is collapsing: COVID is changing the film industry.

Hollywood now shooting Down Under

Australia has the virus largely under control. That’s pulling in filmmakers. Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon are not shooting in Hollywood, but in Australia. According to the agency Ausfilm, which supports international film productions, 37 US film projects have been outsourced to the country. Stars like Matt Damon and Nicole Kidman are working in the Land of Oz.

A scene from the film Judas and the Black Messiah.

The rise of streaming

Warner Bros. will distribute its new films not only in cinemas, but also through streaming. At least 17 films will simultaneously be released in theaters and on the HBO Max portal in 2021, including “Judas and the Black Messiah” (picture), the “Sopranos” sequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and the superhero film “The Suicide Squad”. Cinema operators are worried about the future of their theaters.

Film still from The Eight Hundred.

China dominates the cinema market

For the first time in 2020, two Chinese blockbusters made more money in the box office than US films. The war film “The Eight Hundred” (picture) and another Chinese production, the comedy “Love You Forever,” brought in more than $2 billion, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In China, the cinemas are open, even if only with a capacity of 50 percent.

Hollywood sign in the Los Angeles hills.

Collapse of the US market

Hollywood has recorded financial losses, and less high-profile productions have entered the race for the Oscars on April 25, 2021. Many films from Netflix and Amazon are in the race.

A scene from the remake of Berlin Alexanderplatz shows two people about to kiss.

German films in New York

Five German arthouse films were due to open in New York cinemas in 2021, including “Berlin Alexanderplatz” by Burhan Qurbani (picture) or the migrant drama “Exile.” Now they have to assert themselves online. The films are part of the “Kino! Germany Now!” selection promoted by the German Film Office. Supported by the Goethe-Institute, the initiative aims to increase the visibility of German films.

Phoebe Dynevor in Victorian era dress looks out of a horse-drawn coach.

‘Bridgerton’ and COVID?

After season 1 of “Bridgerton” topped the Netflix charts in 83 countries and was streamed by 82 million households — more than ever before — a sequel is now due. Since the series is based on many intimate scenes, Phoebe Dynevor, actress of Daphne Bridgerton, has great doubts that a second season can be filmed under current hygiene rules.

Berlinale 2020 | Golden and Silver Bears

Rescheduling for the Berlinale

The first major European film festival, which traditionally takes place in Berlin at the end of January / beginning of February, is being remodeled and rescheduled. Industry professionals will meet digitally in March, when the competition will also run. The award ceremony is planned for June, when the Berlin audience can watch the films. But only if the pandemic is contained by then.

Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond, with a navy sweater, aiming a pistol.

James Bond in October

The latest James Bond adventure, “No Time to Die,” has been postponed again due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new theatrical release should now be October 8, 2021, according to the US production studio MGM. What is probably Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007 has been pushed back by a year.

Scarlett Johansson as the superheroine the Black Widow, stands in a smoking wasteland, wearing a futuristic costume and looking pensive.

Films in the waiting room

The film year 2021 will be different. Because many film releases have been postponed due to closed theaters, cinephiles could possibly expect a concentrated selection from spring or mid-2021. In addition to the new Bond film, the Marvel film “Black Widow” with Scarlett Johansson (picture) as well as the sequel to “Top Gun” with Tom Cruise are on hold.

A discussion panel at the Cannes Festival sits on a dramatically lit stage. Behind the panel members is the logo of the Cannes Film Festival 2020.

Cannes postponed

The Cannes Film Festival, which should have been held in May, has been postponed by two months, to July 6-17, 2021. In 2020 it was canceled due to the pandemic. The organizers only published a list of 56 films that they included in the official selection and held a symbolic “mini-festival” in October.

Rock band The Flaming Lips give a special corona concert. Each spectator stands in their own plastic bubble.

Coronavirus documentaries

Already in 2020, there were documentaries about the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan. Now there will be a new contribution in 2021. “In the Same Breath” by Nanfu Wang (“Land of Only Children”) tells of misinformation and misconduct on the part of the Chinese and US governments with regard to COVID-19.

Courtesy: DW