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Let's Talk: COVID-19 VS 'Godzilla vs Kong'

Ever since the beginning of March, this year has not been so kind with the entertainment industry. 2020 has shown to be a real mess with movies that were suppose to release this spring and over the summer got pushed back to either this Fall or 2021, the potential end of AMC theaters, and San Diego Comic-Con getting cancelled. Every time a movie is announced to be delayed or a convention being cancelled due to COVID-19 Godzilla fans ask the same question. How will this affect Godzilla vs Kong?

Just as a reminder, what I share is all speculation based on my understanding of what could happen and should be taken lightly.

While we know movies like No Time To Die, Soul, and Black Widow could negatively affect Godzilla vs Kong's box-office performance based on popularity we don't know if large amounts of people will be going to the movies in November. No matter the situation whether we have COVID-19 under control by November or not, all of the movies coming out this Fall will see some negative impact in the box office and it will mainly be from most people just not going out of fear of catching the virus.

Do you know how after you get sick you don't eat a whole lot for a while just as a precaution if the stomach bug hadn't gone away yet? That's going to be November. Most people are going to reintegrate back into society slowly and not go too crazy by going somewhere crowded out of fear of being potentially exposed to the virus. That isn't to say that people won't go to the movies. Some people will still go to a movie theater and will see Black Widow, Godzilla vs Kong, Soul, or No Time To Die, but most people are going to care about their health over movies.

I will be honest, I'm debating whether or not I should watch A Quiet Place Part 2 and Godzilla vs Kong in theaters. I am just hanging out at home waiting for any updates that shows good news while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons and each day has been disappointing. I understand that Dr. Fauci said by fall we will be more prepared for the coronavirus, yet he even goes on to say by next fall and winter it will get even harder as there will be two viruses circulating and they will need to distinguish which one is the flu and which one is the coronavirus. Even if a treatment or a vaccine is found, it will take months to start administering the treatments to everyone and another year for this pandemic to end.

Take the Swine Flu for example. The first person to be infected was reported on April 15th, 2009 and by April 27th, this strain of the flu was reported to be capable to being transmitted person to person. By June 25th, the CDC estimated that around 1 million people were infected by H1N1. Clinical trials for a vaccine began on July 22nd and it took until September 15th for the FDA to approve four vaccines for the H1N1 and vaccine administration began October 5th. Around October 24th, the second wave of the H1N1 begins and the number of cases reported to have the H1N1 virus peaked with 48 to 50 states reporting widespread activity. By late December, vaccinations were open to everybody that wanted it. The end of the pandemic was announced August 11th, 2010, a whole year and four months after the pandemic began.

Taking into consideration that if we find a vaccine for COVID-19, it will take another two months to get that vaccine to go into clinical trials and get approved by the FDA and another few weeks to begin administering the vaccine. Then, you have to wait another month or so before it's safe to leave the house again, but a whole year for the outbreak to end. Also, since the virus is more active in cold weather more than warm weather, a second wave of the virus is going to happen and it will double the number of infections that are currently being recorded. That is not something that anybody would want to look forward to if they go to the movies this Fall.

As for AMC theaters, they're not going away any time soon. Despite their stock crashing to $2.04 a couple weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter reported that AMC announced a $500 million debt offering last week, which includes a lot of cost cutting. From this offering, AMC would have enough money to last for another year. This would give them enough time to reopen their theaters and get a little bit of cash flowing. So AMC will most likely not go bankrupt, however I do expect them and other theaters to start utilizing social distancing regulations as soon as the theaters open again.

In fact, Governors in a few states have already begun preparations to reopen their states to get the economy running again and this includes reopening of movie theaters. This is as long as businesses follow social distancing regulations such as limiting the amount of people that can enter their stores and heavy duty cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers for staff. These same regulations can be applied to movie theaters as well, but movie theaters can also limit the amount of seats that can be sold. Even Dr. Fauci and President Donald Trump agree with each other that reopening businesses early could be detrimental in containing the virus and could help spread the virus faster. Although, President Trump also acknowledges that businesses do need to reopen soon to stimulate the economy. So this pandemic has turned into a double edge sword. You're damned if you quarantine the country to eradicate the virus and you're damned if you reopen businesses so our economy doesn't collapse.

However, despite being given the option to reopen the movie theaters the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) have come out with a statement yesterday. The statement reads, "While some states and localities are beginning to authorize the opening of movie theaters under certain conditions, the movie theater industry is a national one. Until the majority of markets in the U.S. are open, and major markets in particular, new wide release movies are unlikely to available. As a result, some theaters in some areas that are authorized to open may be able economically to reopen with repertory product; however, many theaters will not be able to feasibly open."

What this statement is saying is while they appreciate being given the option to reopen, but until the majority of the U.S. and other places are open again movie theaters will remain close. This could take months before reopening movie theaters can be considered. When they do reopen, there won't be any new movies to show. As eager as they are to reopen the movie theaters, NATO is not going to take that chance to reopen when the pandemic is still ongoing.

If quarantine continues like how we are right now and Godzilla vs Kong does stay on its November release date then I expect it to make around $35-$40 million at best on opening weekend. COVID-19 would chew this movie up and cough it back out due to people's fear of catching the virus. However, there are options that could happen. The first option is to push the movie back another four-five months. By releasing the movie in February or March 2021, Godzilla vs Kong could see more revenue in the box-office since more people would attend to the movie depending on the signs showing COVID-19 diminishing by then. The second option would be to just release the movie on a streaming service like HBO Max or Amazon Prime. Since HBO Max is owned by Warner Media, it is going to need content to justify subscribing to their platform. With the other three Monsterverse movies (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters) confirmed to be on this platform, Godzilla vs Kong can be an exclusive on this platform to attract fans of Godzilla and Kong. I think delaying the movie would make more sense as it is a big budget title that is meant to be enjoyed in theaters more than on a streaming service.

What are your thoughts on COVID-19? Do you think it will have a negative impact on Godzilla vs Kong or do you think the movie will do just fine in November? Leave a comment in the comment section on your thoughts on how COVID-19 could impact the rest of the movies releasing this year. Make sure to follow me on my Facebook, Twitter, and Minds pages to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.

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