LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Analysts are predicting U.S. box office receipts will be cut in half because of the coronavirus shutdown.
Research company MoffettNathanson says the closures of movie theaters across Southern California and nationwide will send the box office plunging by about 52%, according to Variety.
Revenues from ticket sales will slide to $5.5 billion in 2020, compared with more than $11 billion in 2019.
The report also indicates revenues could drop even lower if theaters remain closed in cities like L.A. and New York and the release of summer blockbusters like "Mulan" is postponed even further.
There has been indication from L.A. city leaders when movie theaters will reopen, although that step is likely to fall under Phase 3 of the governor's reopening plan, which covers "high-risk workspaces" such as theaters.
"Given the uncertainty around the key questions we mention above, including sticking to July release dates, when key markets reopen and willingness of movie-goers to return before a vaccine, our estimates today are very much a work in process with lots of volatility in the months ahead," the report stated.
The forecast does have a silver lining of sorts: analysts say barring any additional delays in film production or rollouts on streaming services, the box office could see a "significant bounce back" up to $9.7 billion in 2021.
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