Disney, which has had the No. 1 movie over the last two weekends with Pixar’s Onward, as the coronavirus crisis has gripped the nation and shut down movie theaters nationwide, has announced it won’t be reporting numbers going forward.
While many will say, “Well, duh” given how 4,933 domestic theaters are closed (repping 96% of the North American box office), ten countries only have partial closures (Bosnia/Herzegovina, Brazil, Columbia, Czech Republic, Japan, Serbia, South Korea, UK, Ukraine, and Vietnam) while nine countries are enforcing capacity limitations (Australia, Croatia, Iceland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, and Slovenia). The rest of the world is closed including big markets France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Deadline heard that China could re-open as early as next weekend, though it would be with local catalog titles. Through close to two weeks, Onward, which was Disney’s first release of 2020, after 20th Century Studios’ Call of the Wild, has grossed over $103M WW. Even as theaters have closed throughout the week, Onward has remained the No. 1 pic daily.
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A statement released by a company rep read, “Given the current large number of theater shutdowns around the globe, Disney will suspend global weekend reporting for the time being. Wishing you and your families the best during these testing times and please be safe”
Of course, this also includes the non-reporting of Disney’s 20th Century Studios and Searchlight labels. Note that without Disney reporting, it’s near impossible for any box office analyst to assemble any type of top 10 chart for either domestic or global B.O.
The entire entertainment industry has been shaken to the core over the last two weeks and to see the No. 1 historical studio unplug for a while, is horrible. It was milestone after milestone for Disney in 2019, as the studio passed $11B global for the first time in industry history, while international grosses of $7.354B were also a new benchmark (the latter up nearly 74% versus 2018). This is without the Fox figures which increased their worldwide to $13.152B and offshore to $8.823B. Six Disney films across the silos crossed $1B global (and Avengers: Endgame got well past $2B to become the biggest movie of all time).
There’s no major theatrical releases in sight until Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5. However, when Disney decides to turn the lights back on at theaters (should the time be right and safe) with Mulan, we’ll all be ready.
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