Survey shows Americans are split on whether movie theaters should close over coronavirus

(LOS ANGELES) — As concerts and other public events the world over are being rescheduled over fears of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Americans apparently aren’t sure if movie theaters should shut their doors, as they have in foreign markets.

According to a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter, about 38% of U.S. adults support shuttering theaters amid the outbreak, but more — 44% — are opposed to the idea.

Keep in mind this poll of 2,200 adults was conducted  from March 5 to 7, before news of the outbreak began hitting a fever pitch. 

In the survey, 46% of respondents supported the idea of studios postponing their upcoming films, as Sony did with the James Bond film No Time to Die.  Since the survey was conducted, Paramount Pictures and Universal have decided to postpone its films A Quiet Place Part II and Fast & Furious 9. 

While people are unsure about going out, they’re apparently quite comfortable with being entertained at home. Around 21% of respondents in the THR/Morning Consult poll who say they subscribed to a streaming service cited coronavirus concerns as the reason they subscribed.

43% say they’d “be more likely” to watch movies on a streaming service, rather than risk exposure out in the world….”Netflix and chill” rather than “get sick with chills,” if you will. 

Some 70,000 theaters in China were closed as the virus spread last month from that country to other around the world. Theaters in equally movie-hungry Japan also closed, as are many in Europe and elsewhere. 

As previously reported, Hollywood is bracing for a $5 billion hit to the global box office as a result of the pandemic panic.

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