Even the obviously massive draw of Vin Diesel comic book movie was not enough to save the box office from COVID-19.
The weekend’s top ten grossed a cumulative total that, for this yearly time frame, was the lowest since 1995. Disney-Pixar’s Onward, in only its second week, held on to the number one spot but dropped a devastating 73%. New releases I Still Believe and Bloodshot didn’t even crack $10 million to take the second and third spots, The Invisible Man dropped 60% for a $6 million third week, and The Hunt debuted at fifth with $5.3 million.
And bad news if you happen to own a multiplex or motion picture studio: the next few weeks are going to be a whole lot worse.
New York and Los Angeles have already closed down movie theaters entirely, and AMC has limited capacity nationwide to 50% or 50 people—whichever is lower. With other major cities and chains likely to feel the pressure to follow suit, and studios already delaying new releases until the coronavirus outbreak is (hopefully) contained, the box office is essentially canceled.
Our hearts sincerely go out to all the incredibly old women who inevitably work the matinee ticket scanning.