We previously covered extensively how Hollywood has been destroyed by the Coronavirus. First, the industry wasn’t prepared for the pandemic, and then it took a $20 billion hit. But, the ripple effects of COVID-19 are far greater than just film releases. It will also have a profound effect on Oscars 2021. But, how will the pandemic affect the Academy Awards, that is going to take place NEXT year in February 2021? Let’s find out!
How can Oscars 2021, which are almost 10 months away, be affected by COVID-19?
The Academy Awards aren’t just planned within a month and conducted in February each year. There is a whole year of planning involved in this event. And the first and most important thing is the films themselves, which aren’t making it to the silver screen!
Big releases on standby because of closed theatres
The closing of theatres all around the world is a primary concern for the Academy. And what’s worse is that there is no reopening in sight. Therefore, big-budget films such as Mulan, Black Widow, Many Saints of Newark, Wonder Woman 1984, etc have their release dates delayed. And these films have a great impact on the Oscars.
If hopefully, things get better with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic by fall, then their releases will be crammed up! And that is never good for big-budget releases, as they end up overlapping each others’ share in the box office. However, there’s a chance that cinemas might not open this year, because of the fear of a second outbreak. Then, the Academy will have to loosen it’s Oscar eligibility for 2021.
Academy’s board of governors may loosen Oscar eligibility
This under serious consideration, especially since the Golden Globes have already loosened their criteria. And with films mostly stuck in the pipeline, it seems like the logical road for the Oscars to walk. But, the meeting of the Academy board of Governors that was to take place on April 14th is delayed by two weeks. Therefore, we haven’t received any confirmed news on this. An Academy spokesperson told Deadline in a statement:
We are in the process of evaluating all aspects of this uncertain landscape and what changes may need to be made. We are committed to being nimble and forward-thinking as we discuss what is best for the future of the industry and will make further announcements in the coming days.
But, the biggest blow to Oscars 2021 yet is the delay of film festivals.
Related: Best Moments at the Oscars 2020
Oscar 2021 hinges on Important film festivals
Next year’s Academy Awards almost entirely rely on key film festivals that take place throughout the year. These include the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. These festivals are where critically acclaimed films from last year like Parasite and Joker began their winning streak.
But, this year things look bleak because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Cannes has been pushed to July instead of May. Venice and Toronto are still on schedule, but it doesn’t look like they’ll hold on to them. If these festivals go on as per plan, then Oscars 2021 will get the same hype as every year. If not, then as things stand everywhere around the world, we have no clue what will happen. And with public gatherings not looking possible anytime close, it seems like we’re back into uncharted waters.
In short, the Coronavirus has infected the Oscars just as bad as Hollywood.