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LA's Movie Theaters Are Being Shut Down, So Universal Will Release Its Movies On Demand

People enter an AMC theater Saturday, March 14, in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
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Everyone's home binging TV and movies instead of going out, with this weekend bringing the lowest box office totals in 20 years — sorry, Bloodshot.

For the last few folks who felt invincible and were still heading to theaters, that's no longer an option in the City of Los Angeles. Sunday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that movie theaters would be shut down effective at midnight that night. And even outside of L.A., Regal Cinemas announced they will be closing their theaters nationwide starting Tuesday.

There might not be many movies to go see in theaters, withonly one major studio release left on the April calendar: Trolls World Tour, which actually moved up its release date a week as the calendar cleared to April 10. And NBCUniversal followed up Monday by announcing they will release the film on demand at the same time as its theatrical release due to coronavirus, offering it for a suggested rentail retail of $19.99. They also plan to release films currently in theaters — The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma — on demand as well, as early as this Friday.

Multiple upcoming blockbusters have already moved their release dates due to concerns about moviegoers being affected by the coronavirus, both domestically and internationally — especially in the huge Chinese market. A Quiet Place Part II won't be opening this week as scheduled; Mulan was supposed to come a week later, and The New Mutants and Peter Rabbit 2 the week after that. All have been delayed.

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While L.A. theaters are shutting down, similar announcements have not been made yet in many neighboring cities. So you may still be able to find somewhere showing movies, at least for now — there just won't be very many of them. And, oh yeah, you really shouldn't. Stay home and socially distance.

While you'er doing that, mark your calendars for when those delayed movies will be coming out:

  • F9 (Fast and Furious 9): April 2, 2021 (yes, the coronavirus means you need to wait an extra year to be with the franchise that celebrates family as you hunker down with your own)
  • No Time To Die (Bond 25): Nov. 25
  • Peter Rabbit 2: Aug. 7

Movies delayed indefinitely but to watch out for:

  • Antlers (we hadn't heard of it either, but it's a horror movie acquired by Disney in the Fox merger that was supposed to come out April 17)
  • A Quiet Place Part II
  • Mulan
  • The New Mutants (the fourth time this movie's release has been postponed, as it is apparently cursed)

Films that already had release dates further out, either announced or unannounced, could also face delays — the coronavirus has shut down film production on numerous movies, from the Batman to the next Mission: Impossible.



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