As the Eastern Seaboard awaits the full strength of the formidable hurricane Sandy, its impact is already being felt in Hollywood via a slew of theater and production closures in many northeastern cities.
The widespread closures of all major businesses include theater chains like AMC, Regal, Clearview and Angelika, some of which remained open Sunday night but are closed all day Monday. Broadway went dark after its Sunday matinee performances, as all Sunday and Monday evening shows were canceled.
East coast-based film and TV productions are also affected. According to Deadline, Warner Bros., CBS, NBC and Showtime halted filming on a multitude of their TV shows, including: “Gossip Girl,” “Person of Interest,” “The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” “30 Rock,” “Smash” and Philadelphia-based “Infamous.” In addition, WB has delayed the start of filming on the big screen adaptation of “A Winter’s Tale,” and the Long Island-based set of “Noah” has been shut down, which star Emma Watson remarked upon with a cheeky tweet.
“I take it that the irony of a massive storm holding up the production of Noah is not lost @DarrenAronofsky @russellcrowe @MattyLibatique,” she wrote, including her director and co-stars.
So how will all these closures and production delays affect box-office numbers and release schedules? MTV News sought out box-office expert Phil Contrino of BoxOffice.com for his thoughts on the subject.
“This isn’t good news for “Cloud Atlas,” “Fun Size,” “Chasing Mavericks” and “Silent Hill: Revelation,” Contrino said. “They won’t really have a chance to rebound after opening to disappointing numbers this past weekend. ’Argo,’ on the other hand, will rebound after the storm passes. It’s become a huge must-see for a lot of people.”
Contrino went on to say that the storm could impact ticket sales for next weekend’s numbers.
“That means that openings for ’Wreck-It Ralph,’ ’Flight’ and ’Man With The Iron Fists’ could be softer than expected,” he added. “But they are also strong movies that shouldn’t have a problem rebounding.”
At this point, it is too early to project what the overall impact Sandy will be, coupled with the fact that movie-ticket sales generally don’t break records on or around Halloween. And, according to a spokesperson from online ticket retailer Fandango.com, filmgoers generally seem more focused on future releases rather than current ones, as the top three ticket-sellers as of Monday morning on Fandango are “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Skyfall.”