The pandemic has cratered numerous industries, including the restaurant industry, live performance industry, not to mention travel and airlines, but the one we're obviously interested in is the cinema industry.
Figures released at CineEurope conference yesterday have put the pandemic's impact on cinemas in stark terms. Consultancy firm Omdia pegs the losses at 70% from last year so far, with the best-possible outcome that the year will end with 58% losses.
It's not all bad news for cinemas, however. Omdia's research added that audiences are pent-up and ready to go back to cinemas as soon as they open, but stressed that reassurance of safety is key to getting people back in front of the big screen.
"At its core," said David Hancock, director of cinema for Omdia, "cinema is a social medium that brings people out of their homes for a communal experience."
"This is the point that critics of cinema always miss. During this unprecedented circumstance, cinema’s strength has become its weakness. Being social is perceived as a threat today with physical distancing being labelled social distancing."
Currently, there's some confusion on whether or not cinemas will be able to reopen in Ireland on July 20th. Previously, the government guidelines specified that Phase 5 - where cinemas could open on August 10th - was being brought forward to Phase 4's date of July 20th. However, in comments to the Irish Examiner earlier in the week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated that cinemas could potentially open by August.
Calls to the government press office by entertainment.ie for clarity on the issue have, so far, gone unanswered. Cinema owners, meanwhile, are furious with the government's apparent mishandling of the dates, leaving them in limbo as to whether or not they will be allowed to open on July 20th.