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‘Fast and Furious 9’ postponed a year, no live audiences for TV shows: How coronavirus is affecting the entertainment industry

The Coachella festival, seen here in its 2018 iteration, has been moved from April to October over coronavirus concerns. (Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images)

The city of Austin canceled South by Southwest last week, citing the risk of the coronavirus spreading among the hundreds of thousands of attendees who flock to the event each year. Within days, April’s Coachella Valley of Music and Arts Festival was postponed until October at the direction of local health officials. The decisions represent some of the most significant hits on the entertainment industry since the virus began to spread worldwide.

“While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty,” Coachella organizers wrote in a statement, “we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously."

Major impacts on the industry date to mid-January, when nearly all of China’s cinemas shut down after the virus began spreading in Wuhan. Some moves, such as the cancellation SXSW and postponement of the latest James Bond film’s release by several months, have surprised the industry. The decision to not cancel or push back events has also caused rifts in some cases, such as the director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference resigning over its continuance.

Countless jobs will be affected by the virus, and financial reverberations for individuals, companies and economies will last months, at the least.

Here is a reverse timeline of how the coronavirus outbreak has affected the industry.

This post will be continually updated.

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March 12: Universal Studios postpones the release of “Fast and Furious 9” by a year.

Several studios have chosen to delay their spring releases, but “F9” is the first to be pushed to next year. The film, originally scheduled to hit theaters in May, will premiere in April 2021.

“While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration,” read a statement on the franchise’s Facebook page.

March 12: Late-night talk shows decide to forgo live audiences.

CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” both of which tape in Los Angeles, announced they would be taping without live studio audiences beginning March 16.

The announcements arrived a day after the producers of several New York-based talk shows — CBS’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert”; NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers”; HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”; Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”; Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live”; TBS’s “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”; and Fox News’s “The Greg Gutfeld Show” — also decided to suspend their live audiences.

March 12: Paramount Pictures indefinitely postpones “A Quiet Place Part II” and “The Lovebirds.”

In a statement about the “Quiet Place” sequel, Paramount cited the coronavirus outbreak and “restrictions on global travel and public gatherings” as the reason for postponing. Director John Krasinski addressed the delayed release on Instagram: “One of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together,” he wrote. “Well due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the right time to do that.”

“The Lovebirds,” starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, had been scheduled for an April 3 release.

March 12: The Who cancels its U.K. tour.

The British rock band’s tour was scheduled to kick off in Manchester on March 16. In a statement shared with Reuters, guitarist Pete Townshend said the band members “haven’t reached this decision easily, but given the concerns about public gatherings, we couldn’t go ahead.”

March 11: Tom Hanks announces he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hanks announced in a statement shared across social media platforms that he and his wife, singer and actress Rita Wilson, had tested positive for the coronavirus in Australia, where he is in preproduction for an Elvis Presley biopic. They experienced coldlike symptoms before getting tested, Hanks said, and went to the doctor “to play things right.”

Hanks and Wilson are the first Hollywood celebrities to publicly announce a covid-19 diagnosis. They will be “isolated for as long as public health and safety requires,” he wrote.

The next day, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Australian officials suggested the couple contracted the virus in the United States before traveling abroad.

March 11: CBS suspends “Survivor” production.

CBS announced it had chosen to delay plans to film the show’s 41st season in Fiji until mid-May “due to concerns and uncertainty” surrounding the coronavirus’s global spread.

“This situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day,” host and executive producer Jeff Probst wrote in an email sent to the “Survivor” crew, according to Variety. “It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step.”

March 11: Talk and game shows begin taping without live audiences.

Walt Disney Television announced “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” the “Tamron Hall” show and “The View” would start filming without live studio audiences. “The Wendy Williams Show” made a similar announcement March 11.

“Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” confirmed to The Washington Post earlier in the week that they, too, had suspended filming in front of a live audience. “Wheel of Fortune” hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White and “Jeopardy!” announcer Johnny Gilbert and host Alex Trebek are all over 60, which the CDC says puts them at a higher risk of getting sick from the coronavirus. Trebek is also vulnerable because of his recent cancer treatments.

When social distancing hits Wendy Williams and ‘The View,’ things get weird

March 10: Coachella and Stagecoach are pushed to October.

Goldenvoice, the entertainment company that produces Coachella and Stagecoach, its country music counterpart, officially confirmed rumors that the April festivals would be delayed until October over coronavirus concerns. Tickets purchased for the April weekends will be honored in the fall, per a tweeted statement, but there will also be an option to get them refunded.

March 10: The Los Angeles Times delays its Festival of Books.

The 25th-annual Festival of Books, held at the University of Southern California, was moved from April to the first weekend in October “out of an abundance of caution.”

March 10: “Peter Rabbit 2” is pushed to August.

Following MGM and Universal’s postponement of “No Time to Die,” Sony Pictures became the second studio to delay a major release out of concerns over the coronavirus. “Peter Rabbit 2,” originally slated for a late-March or early-April release, will now hit theaters in August.

March 9: Pearl Jam postpones its North American tour.

The band announced in a multipart Twitter thread that it would be rescheduling its coming concert dates. Unlike statements issued by other artists, Pearl Jam accused the American government of muddled messaging and noted that, as Seattle residents, its members have “witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate.”

“What we do wish for the rest of the country is that they can avoid the harsh negative effects of this and retain their sense of community and take care of one another,” the band wrote.

March 9: The Tucson Festival of Books is canceled.

Following their initial decision to make the event “touch free,” organizers of the Tucson Festival of Books decided to cancel it altogether. More than 100 authors had already pulled out of the March festival, which generally attracts more than 100,000 people.

March 9: “Slay the Dragon” will hit digital platforms earlier than planned.

Magnolia Pictures pushed back the theatrical release of the acclaimed gerrymandering documentary “Slay the Dragon” from March 13 to April 3. On the latter date, the film will also be available on streaming and video on-demand platforms — a plan other distributors could soon adopt.

March 6: The city of Austin cancels South by Southwest.

Following days of major media companies canceling their plans to appear at SXSW, Austin city officials canceled the festival itself — making this March the first time in 34 years that the event won’t take place. At a news conference, during which Mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster, a health official explained the precautionary measures by likening the threat of coronavirus to that of a hurricane looming in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement, SXSW organizers wrote they were “devastated” to share the cancellation news with the public, but they “honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites."

March 6: The Emerald City Comic Con is postponed until summer.

The annual comic book festival is held in Seattle, the region which has thus far been hit the hardest by coronavirus out of all American cities. “We did everything that we could to run the event as planned,” organizers wrote in a statement, “but ultimately, we are following the guidance of local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed.” Tickets will be refunded.

March 5: WarnerMedia pulls out of SXSW.

The entertainment conglomerate — comprising HBO, Turner and Warner Bros — announced in a statement that, as a precaution, it had “decided it best not to move forward with activations at SXSW.”

A panel planned for the popular series “Supernatural,” which airs on the CW, a network co-owned by WarnerMedia, had already been removed from the SXSW schedule as of March 4. Other affiliated events included a keynote session with HBO’s “Watchmen” collaborators Damon Lindelof, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; a conversation with Robin Thede, showrunner of HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show”; and a panel headlined by TBS talk show host Samantha Bee.

The communications team for CNN, which is owned by WarnerMedia, also tweeted out the company statement. Several CNN journalists had been set to attend SXSW.

March 4: Netflix and Apple follow Amazon Studios in canceling their SXSW plans.

Variety reported that Netflix had canceled film screenings for a feature and four documentaries, as well as a panel for the coming show “Black Excellence,” starring Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones. Apple, which planned to premiere two original series and Spike Jonze’s Beastie Boys documentary, also pulled out.

These media exits followed the Amazon Studios decision to cancel its events.

March 4: The Ultra Music Festival is indefinitely postponed.

The festival, Miami’s “marquee electronic dance music event,” per the Miami Herald, will not be held as scheduled on March 20-22. Postponing the event was a joint decision between the city’s elected leaders and Ultra representatives, the newspaper reported. New dates haven’t yet been announced.

March 4: “No Time to Die” postpones its worldwide premiere.

After canceling the Chinese premiere, longtime James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, along with MGM and Universal, announced they would be pushing the worldwide release date of “No Time to Die” from April to November. The producers wrote in a statement that the costly decision had been made “after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace.”

March 2: Facebook and Twitter pull out of SXSW.

Despite calls for SXSW to be canceled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the festival will continue — but not as planned. A number of companies have canceled plans to have representatives travel to Austin this month, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s dozen speakers.

March 2: The National cancels its Japanese concerts.

The indie rockers canceled a pair of Tokyo tour dates “in the interest of public safety,” according to a tweeted statement. Phoebe Bridgers had been set to open the mid-March shows.

Feb. 28: The Cannes Film Festival issues a statement.

Hours after the first recorded case of coronavirus in the city of Cannes, the film festival told Variety that “as of today, it is still premature to express assumptions” on the mid-May event.

Festival staff will continue to prepare for the event, according to a statement that clarified they would “take all the necessary measures, aiming at ensuring the protection of all attendees.”

Feb. 28: CBS halts “The Amazing Race” production.

After filming a few episodes in the United Kingdom, the 33rd season of “The Amazing Race” hit pause over “increased concerns and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus around the world.”

Feb. 28: Green Day postpones its Asian tour dates.

Green Day, which planned to tour Asia this spring, indefinitely postponed shows in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea: “We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all, but hold on to your tickets, we’ll be announcing the new dates very soon,” the rock band said.

Feb. 27: BTS cancels its Korean concerts.

The K-pop group canceled and reimbursed fans for the four Seoul shows that would have opened the “Map of the Soul” concert tour, all of which were to be held April in Jamsil Olympic Stadium.

Feb. 27: Hollywood speaks up.

A representative of the Motion Picture Association — which represents the Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and Netflix film studios — told Deadline that the trade organization was “closely monitoring” the spread of coronavirus and that it would “continue taking the necessary precautions” to ensure the health of customers and employees worldwide.

SAG-AFTRA, the labor union with roughly 160,000 members, noted it was tracking updates from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department.

Feb. 26: “Mission: Impossible 7” shuts down production in Italy.

The seventh film in the “Mission: Impossible” series was set to shoot in Venice for three weeks — a plan put on hold after the number of confirmed cases in Italy surpassed 100. Some museums closed temporarily and, according to CNN, reopened with new safety measures in place.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan,” a representative from Paramount Pictures said in a statement.

Feb. 24: Paramount delays the Chinese release of “Sonic the Hedgehog.”

The famous hedgehog won’t be speeding through Chinese theaters anytime soon, per Deadline.

Feb. 21: A major Chinese production is delayed.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke, known for dramas such as “A Touch of Sin” and “Ash Is Purest White,” told IndieWire when he was at the Berlin Film Festival that he was in the midst of planning another film when the coronavirus broke out in the Wuhan region. He had wanted to shoot in April, given that the story takes place in the spring and summer, but must now postpone it until next year at the earliest.

“Maybe we’ll write a new script,” he added, smiling.

Feb. 17: “No Time to Die” cancels its Beijing premiere.

The latest James Bond film — and Daniel Craig’s last — was originally set for an April premiere in China. That portion of the publicity tour was postponed.

Feb. 14: Khalid postpones his Asian tour dates.

R&B singer-songwriter Khalid became one of the first American artists to postpone a concert tour over “the recent advisories and travel restrictions,” as AEG Presents announced on Instagram.

Feb. 4: Disney delays the Chinese release of “Mulan.”

Shortly after announcing that next year will be his last as chief executive of Disney, Bob Iger confirmed to CNBC that the Chinese release date of “Mulan” had been delayed indefinitely. The highly anticipated film, a live-action adaptation of the classic story, will be released March 27 in the United States.

Jan. 23: Thousands of Chinese theaters are shut down.

The day after Chinese studios canceled seven blockbuster releases, cinema chains shuttered thousands of theaters across the country. Variety reported in March that the Chinese box office had plummeted $1.91 billion over the first two months of the year as a result of this shutdown.

Jan. 22: Major Chinese film releases are canceled.

Lunar New Year is the “biggest blockbuster period in the world,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, which stated that major studios voluntarily postponed releases after medical experts warned against congregating in crowded public spaces. By this point, multiple cities were on “lockdown.”

Some of the delayed films include “Detective Chinatown 3″ and “Lost in Russia.” The latter wound up premiering online, as did “Enter the Fat Dragon,” which was also planned for a January release.

Read more:

Coachella’s delay and SXSW’s cancellation show how coronavirus could make festival season disappear

The spread of coronavirus is shuttering film sets and closing movie theaters overseas

What you need to know about coronavirus

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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