• The Lake News Magazine

Lights, Camera… Cut?- Hollywood misses out on their “Happily Ever After."

As movies disappear from release calendars, it leaves theatres dark, empty, and abandoned. It seems that the COVID-19 global pandemic has stopped Hollywood from achieving their “happily ever after.” Many opening dates have been delayed for months or have been released on demand through various streaming services. The quick shutdown of such a large industry has not only affected American film industries and local theaters across the country, but has turned into a loss of jobs across the entire globe.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, the overall cinematic economic framework has shifted. Films initially set for a theatrical release have winded up on streaming and premium videos on demand. For instance, on September 4, Disney’s Mulan was rerouted to Disney Plus where viewers could watch for an extra fee of $29.99. During the first week, Mulan made 37.6 million dollars on Disney Plus and Box Office.

As we adapt to a new normal it seems as though Hollywood is encountering a new austerity. The pandemic has ultimately changed the production process of movies and TV shows. Directors have been challenged with new restrictions that have limited the number of people on set. Before COVID, movie sets were slightly chaotic, with vast amounts of people working together in close proximity. Now with the difficulties of Coronavirus, film makers have been pushed to adapt to the new changes in the industry. Instead of crew members spontaneously mingling, many movie sets have had to separate different cast and crew members into “pods” to create a safer filming environment. Although these actions have been taken to ensure the safety of everyone on set, they have placed a strain on the smooth, rapid production of films by limiting how production departments such as lighting and wardrobe can associate.

Case in point, crowd-scenes will no longer be apparent, real-world locations will be limited, and romance scenes will look very different. Hollywood, on many occasions, has relied on the premises of employing large groups of people on set. This can especially apply to crews, and extras that pack off-camera holding areas in order to construct dense crowd scenes. For reference, the movie Braveheart had over 1,600 extras for crowd scenes, now with the restrictions of the pandemic, this is no longer possible. Thus, with COVID running amuck, many aspects of Hollywood culture are feeling the pervasive impact.

While cinemas such as AMC, Alamo Drafthouse, Harkins, Elvis, and other theatres near SLHS were closed during the beginning stages of the pandemic, other forms of entertainment had stepped up. The emptied movie theatres seem to have led to the resurrection of drive-in movies. The norms of social distancing is a prominent part of the charm that drive-ins obtain. By simply having cars dispersed, everyone is still able to share the big screen, while staying safe and enclosed in the car. A specific drive-in that quickly arose in popularity near SLHS is the 88-Drive In Theater, located in Commerce City. It seems as though drive-ins are getting their sequel after all.

Despite the setbacks of COVID, Hollywood is still managing to produce movies that will be released in the near future. The Lake has listed several upcoming films that are to be released sometime between late 2020 and 2021, with a brief summary of each.


After the events of Avengers: Endgame, a group of immortal beings who have secretly been living on Earth are forced to come out of hiding and take action to protect the planet. Eternals is part of the fourth phase of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With a brand new all star cast - including Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, and Kit Harington - this movie has high hopes to carry on Marvels superhero legacy after the 22 films that lead to the release of Endgame.

Wonder Woman 1984: Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, and Chris Pine are back in black.

After a stunning performance in Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot signed the contract to be featured in Wonder Woman 1984. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) experiences the consequences of being an immortal god, along with the fact that she previously lost her partner, Steve Trevor. During this journey, she encounters a new enemy “Cheetah” who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

James Bond No Time To Die:

Originally set to be released on November 12, 2020, this action-packed spy film is now slated to be released on April 12, 2021. In Daniel Craig's fifth James Bond film, there is no shortage of the usual tropes seen in every other Bond movie. No Time To Die will be filled with fight scenes, car crashes, gunfights, fancy suits and dresses, and high tech gadgets. It is sure to be a hit when you see it at your local theater.


Soul is a brand new movie coming out on November 20, 2020 by Disney and Pixar. From the creators of Inside Out, this new movie emphasizes a little bit more on our soul than our emotions. Showcasing a middle school band teacher whose life turns around once he finds out what a soul really is, Soul is expected to be a hit for all ages. His journey into another realm turns out to be a beautiful experience, and what he discovers is something you'll have to see for yourself when this is released in cinemas near you.

Although COVID-19 has transformed Hollywood through the struggles of the pandemic, there are still ways to enjoy our favorite films. Whether that be in theaters on the big screen, at home on streaming services, or even at drive-in movie theaters, it is still possible to view the movies that mean the most to us, all while staying cautious and protected from the virus.

Jane Ababei | Yash Basnet | Livie Fowler | Sejal Goud | Kaylynn Tran

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