How often do we get a chance to learn how to wash our hands from someone who was aboard the Titanic? Ok, well, she was an actress that played someone aboard that fateful ship, but it’s about as close as we’re going to get in 2020, because anybody and everybody that was on that boat has passed on.
Seriously, this how to is good stuff. Watch it, live it, do it. Recommended.
Thank you, Rose, er, Kate. Much appreciated. Seriously, no snark whatsoever. This is a very useful video.
Jamie Lee Curtis is hosting these watch-along events which includes live chat, the goal to virtually create the theater social experience. Can you smell the popcorn?
The article provides even more details of fan-interactive activities during the movies:
Each week’s night at the movies will feature special programming and interactive opportunities for fans, like real-time fan chats via YouTube Live, live tweeting @Lionsgate and partners, and shared fan engagement opportunities in-show, including movie trivia, movie-themed challenges, and more.
Apparently there is a site online called Popcornopolis in addition to SnackNation (never used either service, so not a recommendation, just sharing the links for your own review) partnering up with Lionsgate for this event. These are not affiliate links — we don’t do that here as of this writing — BTW. Just linking to them as part of the event promotion because it bugs me when news articles mention things but don’t link to them or tell us the details.
I haven’t seen Dirty Dancing in years. La La Land? Only one in list I haven’t seen yet. None of these movies have had reviews yet and I’m usually off work by 6pm PST on Fridays, so this could line up well. Anybody else going?
Any other viewing parties/watch-along events to share? Use the comments below to tell us about it. If you’re going to any of the viewing party events above, please let us know.
The cliche ‘the early bird gets the worm’ seems very applicable here.
This movie should probably be under a FIRST LOOK, only we haven’t done them for movies that don’t have a distributor and release date. This is more of a finished film, complete with an IMDB page, looking for a home.
The second, and possibly most important, factor that could make Corona stand out in the market is that it truly is the first film covering the hysteria behind COVID-19. That novelty alone will draw people into watching what Mostafa Keshvari’s film has to offer to the world.
On the east coast, in the interest of social distancing, there is/has been popup drive-thru coronavirus testing:
At the recommendation of a doctor, those with an appointment can drive up, get swabbed by medical professionals and be on their way back home without the risk of exposing many more health care professionals and the general public than if they were at a hospital. Results are said to take about a day or so to come back.
Haven’t heard about anything like this in Washington State, but it’s a good idea. Our state, unfortunately known as the first state where this appeared in the United Stated, we’re in the midst of a two-week “stay at home” order. My wife and I both work in “essential/critical” jobs, so we are still going to work somewhat normally. I’m taking two days off, which is a little abnormal, considering I usually work six days. That extra day is my extra way of providing additional social distancing.
There is one question on our minds, probably on everybody’s minds that lives in this state (and elsewhere around the world, too):
Is the pandemic near its peak?
With 2,000 nationwide now dead from the disease, 189 in Washington state, we don’t appear to have reached the peak in America, but if we use China that is about 45 days ahead of us in their results, we could be nearing that point.
As the article linked above indicates, about 2/3 of America are in shelter in place or stay at home orders, some 215 million Americans and counting. My wife and I are carrying around copies of emails on our phones which authorize our status as allowed to work, just in case we’re stopped. One of my wife’s co-workers has been stopped and questioned.
The Seattle Times maintains a live updated page containing the COVID-19 statistics for Washington State residents. The top of this blog post shares Friday 3/27 statistics and here are Saturday 3/28:
I’ve been clicking over there once a day to see the changes from day to day and trying to use this as a gauge for when the virus shows signs of receding and more businesses might be able to reopen again.
The [Washington] state Department of Health announced 516 newly confirmed cases Friday, bringing the state total to 3,723 cases, including 175 deaths. The bulk of Washington’s cases remain in King County, which haas seen 1,828 people fall ill and 125 die.
It would seem the jump in people newly tested and affected is rising, not falling or leveling off yet, but remaining hopeful that these times are the worst right now and it will level off and began to recede soon.
While you might not expect this kind of coverage here, this pandemic is affecting nearly everything we regularly do.
It might seem inconsequential or unimportant to mention movies as recreation and entertainment during these times, but this sort of escapism is part of the cure mentally. We need to focus on something other than only the unseen enemy in our midst. Books, movies, TV, the internet, thank goodness we have you!
So, movies, let’s talk.
Movie theaters are shuttered, too, of course, but some pop-up drive-ins are starting to appear.
Googling, I learned that there is a business operating in South Africa which specializes in the popup drive-in experience (pictured above). Instead of a bouncy house, it’s a gigantic screen filled with air. Cars roll into parking lots or other big areas and the screen is displayed for all to watch. The sound is transmitted using Bluetooth, it seems.
Openair.us operates in the United States, selling an 18 foot inflatable screen that weighs 17 pounds!
There are various companies who sell popup movie screens if you already have a projector and a huge open space on your property so you could make your own outdoor popup drive-in theater.
Years ago, we had a really bad storm in our area that took out all power for several days. I remember reading by candlelight and cuddling up in heavy blankets to stave off the cold. That reminded me how much we take for granted lights and power. Luckily, we don’t have weather issues piling on, too.
Hopefully, soon we can begin to post signs that the other stuff going on is receding, more people can return to work, businesses can reopen and the economy can begin rebuilding and healing.
I’m going to keep on writing about movies, TV and other entertainment and recreation. Pull up a chair, light a good fire if you have a woodstove or a virtual one and let’s get lost in the wonderful world of imagination.
Last wrote about drive-in movie theaters in October 2019 (see: Drive-In Movie Theaters), and I just checked the closest drive-in theater to us in Washington State and it would have opened this coming weekend.
That drive-in theater has decided to delay their planned March 27 opening date. So, we will not be able to take in any alternate drive-in movie option in our area, at least.
Other moviegoers elsewhere in the United States do have some drive-in theaters to visit. This is what’s making up the bulk of the domestic box office sales as of this writing.
Among Onward‘s top 30-grossing theaters this past weekend, drive-ins repped 25 of them. For Invisible Man, 20 out of its 30 theaters earned money from drive-ins, Call of the Wild‘s saw 15 out of 30, and Bloodshot 14 out of 30. All of Onward‘s top 20 theaters were drive-ins, led by the Glendale 9 in Glendale, AZ with close to $10K.
Do you have any open drive-in theaters near you? Would you go? Would think these experiences would provide decent social distancing — at least for the movie viewing portion, not so much for concessions.
State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.
If we look at the timeline, China closed theaters first, about 45 days ago, so if they are starting to reopen as the virus recedes, then we’re about 45 days out in the United States from seeing the same situation occur here.
Meanwhile, in Washington state where we reside, they just put a two-week order for people in non-essential businesses to stay at home. Both of our regular jobs are considered essential, so this will have no impact on us, but just thought I’d throw that out there.
45 days. It gets better. Theaters reopening anywhere sounds like life starting to return to normal.
Will admit that I kind of laughed when I first learned abut “social distancing” by the movie theaters.
I mean, really, it’s like people going into a frenzy over buying toilet paper and water at the grocery store. They are putting themselves at greater risk by shopping where there are tons of people. The more people you’re around, the greater chance you’ll encounter someone infected, therefore increasing the chance you’ll be infected.
CEO and President Adam Aron said, “With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”
Theory is nice, but that’s about it for practicality. If we’re using common sense, anyway.
Come on, if someone coughs into the air somewhere inside the theater … the particles will circulate throughout the theater (we saw this graphically depicted on film in the movie Outbreak, see: Outbreak (1995) Trending on Netflix). What we need is some sort of self-contained suit when we enter the movie theater to truly, fully protected against infection by an infected moviegoer.
Yeah, i know, not practical to have a containment zone, spray, then climb into a suit breathing only air from a tank, but that would be the only way virtually guaranteed not to catch an airborne virus.
(still have risk of hole in suit)
I’m no expert, but putting two seats between each moviegoer to protect against an airborne virus inside a room is like using a broken condom and hoping you’ll have some added protection.
Fresh air and not being in the proximity of anybody who is infected is the only thing that protects us against being infected. When they quarantined all those people on the cruise ship, those who weren’t sick were almost certainly guaranteed to get sick breathing all the same reconstituted air of other infected passengers.
I like the Wynn Casino idea of thermal scanning of anybody entering the casino. Those with an abnormally high body temperature — a known virus symptom — will be discreetly asked to leave. Now, that is protecting other patrons and a smart use of technology.
When we visit movie theaters, even when there was no virus threat (let’s face it, in flu season that has never been a reality), we typically attend during off busy times (besides opening nights of course). Matinees, day time, when traffic is reduced. This does more to protect us from infection than social distancing.
We’re still going to see movies, regardless the risk, because if we catch the virus, we’re both healthy and don’t have any major illnesses. If I was a little older and had some health issues I’d stay home, stay away from people in gathered locations as much as humanly possible. Wouldn’t go shopping (I’d have it delivered and left outside) then when the delivery person is gone, I’d pick it up. I would go into hermit mode, which would be my advice for anybody old and sick. But then I’d give those people the same advice during any flu season. Stay away from others as much as possible.
People die every day for a wide variety of reasons. This particular virus outbreak is being handled with a degree of panic never seen before. Panic will not help anybody. Calm, reasonable response to the situation will. Take a deep breath, the experts will find a vaccine and in a few months — hopefully — this will all be behind us.
Meanwhile, stay vigilant. That’s great advice no matter what is going on the world around us.
Forbes has a list of 10 new movies, including one that was scheduled for next week that I was hugely looking forward to seeing: A Quiet Place Part II.
No Time To Die: Release moved from April 10 to November 25 My Spy: Release moved from March 13 to April 17 Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway: Release moved from April 3 to August 7 A Quiet Place Part II: Release moved from March 18, new release date TBA Fast Furious: F9: Release moved from May 22, 2020 to April 2, 2021 The Lovebirds: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA Blue Story: Release moved from March 20, new release date TBA Mulan: Release moved from March 27, new release date TBA The New Mutants: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA Antlers: Release moved from April 17, new release date TBA
Tonight I saw Bloodshot (review pending), but have decided to wait on watching and reviewing the other new movies until next week. I’m on vacation in Las Vegas and it appears right now like no new movies will be widely released next week in theaters — A Quiet Place Part II was scheduled, but as mentioned above, that’s now been pushed back — so we’ll catch up with The Hunt, I Still Believe, Emma and whatever else is out there playing next week.
I’m real curious what the movie theaters are going to be showing. This could provide some serious leg power to existing movies to stay playing in the theaters longer than they normally would because nothing new will be pushing them out.
The theater for a Thursday was spooky empty tonight.
As for opening wide and now playing reviews posts that we do weekly? Have to stay tuned on what happens there. Our coming soon lists are going to be all jacked up now, too, thanks to all these release date changes. If there is any silver lining to this, there should be a lot of new movies in a few months, when all this virus stuff blows over — and hopefully it does.
In the meantime, if this drought of new movies being released continues, I might need to turn to older movies and good TV shows to profile and cover in the meantime.
This virus stuff will sort itself out at some point, but keep seeing more and more movies getting canceled, moved, put on hiatus and “TBA.”
In Washington State, where we reside the governor has just imposed a “no gatherings over 250 people” ban on concerts and sporting events. Casinos remain exempt I guess because, well, they are run on tribal lands. Luckily, no movie theaters should be impacted by this new temporary proclamation.
Still, it feels like we’re headed toward there. Look at how many would support closing movie theaters too.
Around 44% of U.S. adults said they would oppose the temporary shutdown of movie theaters, but around 38% said they would support closures, according to a report from Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter. The survey of 2,200 U.S. adults was conducted from March 5-7.
2,200 people is a very small sample size, but of that many polled 38% support a temporary closure of movie theaters due to the coronavirus outbreak.
We tend to go at times when theaters aren’t completely full, but our favorite movie day is Thursday and more and more people seem to be filling up the theater on opening night. I don’t know what this weekend will be like, attendance-wise, but at least in our area, attendance seems to be increasing, not decrasing.
Of course that could just be that more people want to see the movies coming out than anything to do with the coronavirus.
Before panic sets in, it’s important to remember the vast number of people who are infected are recovering perfectly fine. It’s just like any other cold/flu. Older people with health problems and those with high risk immune systems have the most to worry about.
Kara works at a grocery store chain and people are buying all kinds of groceries. Holing up as if there is an impending nuclear war, buying canned goods, water, hand sanitizer and, some, are buying vodka because they think that can be an alternative sanitizer.
The world isn’t ending, but an increasing number of people seem to be treating it like that’s an inevitable outcome.
The elephant in the world’s room at the moment is the coronavirus. The elephant in the theatrical world is the theatrical window.
Rather than delay indefinitely new movie releases, why not offer people in China the ability to stream movies at home (for a reasonable ticket price)?
I’ve been looking around for others suggesting this and it seems this idea is completely off the table. The more time that goes by that the theaters are closed, why can’t this be explored … at least temporarily?
Obviously, movies aren’t remotely important as protecting human lives, so our thoughts and prayers go out to anybody impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
We’re now going to see Hollywood getting hurt by China’s current theatrical shutdown, as the likes of Bad Boys For Life and Birds of Prey weren’t betting on a big Chinese payday. Even Dolittle was tracking for a $15 million debut when the coronavirus caused the theaters to shut down over what should have been a $1 billion-plus New Year’s weekend. Video game movies (Warcraft, Rampage, Ready Player One, etc.) have been big in China, and a continued blackout could be even more problematic for (much bigger-budgeted) Mulan and No Time to Die.
Collateral damage of a much lesser concern will be box office performance depending on the Chinese market where many theaters are currently shutdown, but there are other ways to release new movies — streaming — than on the big screen.
I don’t understand why streaming options won’t at least be considered, given if a lot more time goes on without a vaccine being available. Yes, I realize this movie industry protects the theatrical window from streaming for 90 days or so because they believe that once that is violated, the movie theater industry will crumble.
Streaming at Home vs. The Movie Theater Experience
I don’t think it’s quite that dramatic at this point for a few simple reasons:
Most people don’t have in-home theater quality TV and surround sound speaker setups
Most people don’t have a bunch of people to join them as they watch a movie on the big screen. There is a social element to watching movies in the theater that is difficult to view in a smaller room and/or alone
Popcorn. Sorry, microwave popcorn is not the same. Yes, you can emulate the movie theater popcorn setup affordably, but most people won’t and don’t have this available.
Date night outside the home. If you want to have date night at home, you can do that any night of the week, but it’s nice to leave home and do something fun with your spouse/significant other/friends away from your home.
Sure, all of these items except the last can be replicated with an in-home system and you don’t have to be Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. On top of that, you can invite only those who don’t interrupt the movies at home. You can also pause the movies, eat whatever food you want and show movies whenever you want. There are many advantages to watching movies at home versus the theater, but I don’t think enough people have movie theater quality rooms in their homes.
Funny aside: 20 years ago we added a movie room to our home. I wired the walls with high quality sound in preparation for the ultimate surround sound system. For a few years we had the system and I watched movies in there, but it never really felt like the movie theater. I didn’t go the extra mile for the movie theater popcorn, but came about as close as possible 20 years ago to having this room of dreams. I’ve been a cutting edge tech guy in the past.
So, if you have someone like me who could have a room like this and doesn’t prioritize it over a movie theater, my guess is there are many lesser-tech folks who would rather just go out to, for no better reason than, go out.
Re-releasing the New Releases in Theaters
Maybe some of these movies can be re-released in theaters. Again, this is all a lesser concern to finding a cure and making sure human beings wherever they are in the world are protected from harm from this virus.
Informative Articles about Coronavirus
Admittedly, this is going outside the scope of this blog, but a wise person stays informed. I’ve collected some articles to learn more about coronavirus:
How the Coronavirus likely started with a bat [VOX.com]: “The story of the novel coronavirus is the story of HIV, of SARS, of Ebola, and even the measles. These are all diseases that have been introduced to humans — with deadly effects — via animals. And as humans encroach more and more into animal habitats, it’s believed these spillover events may only grow more common.”
Let’s hope that a vaccine is created soon and this outbreak is thoroughly contained. Regardless if it’s happening in America or abroad, viruses that infect any human being anywhere are a concern that we all should agree upon working together to contain and eliminate.