The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all of our lives. The film production industry is no exception. The impact of the pandemic and its restrictions on UK box office is devastating. The total revenue generated hits 76% decrease in comparison to 2019. Facing UK-wide shutdowns of cinemas and any filming production from March 2020 negatively impacted the industry.
Online video streaming grew exponentially. The average time spent viewing online streaming in the UK increased from 4 hours 53 minutes in 2019 to 6 hours and 25 minutes in 2020. Whilst these statistics is music to the ears of the big streaming giants like Netflix. It is not great news for traditional viewing services like our cinemas.
With production coming to a halt during lockdown and the suspension of travel due to increased cases in the UK, the number of scripted TV programs across all broadcast and streaming services dropped. This was shocking to the production industry as it was the first in over a decade.
New movie releases also saw a significant drop, with many studios forced to move release date into 2021 or later. Additionally, the estimated number of movies that began production in 2020 saw a massive decline of 45%.
Not only did the film production industry took a direct hit due to the pandemic but also those within the industry, for example, directors and actors. Money spent on film production in the UK saw a downfall of 21%. This left many people devastated, jobless and fearful for what’s to come next.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. As things begin to start getting back to ‘normal’ (whatever normal is) more people are starting to enjoy other forms of entertainment viewing being the comforts of their home. The pandemic is accelerating the transformation in movie production, distribution and consumption (weforum.org) .
As this continue to develop and change, the business model is moving from third-party distribution and ticket sales towards owned distributions. Whilst independent theatres are expected to be heavily impacted, online streaming models are beginning to normalise the release of movies directly to consumers. Thus, whilst its sad news for traditional cinemas, film production is still important for the ever-changing and high in demand online streaming.