Opinion: COVID Delayed The Media Industry’s Creativity 

"Morbius" is an example of how COVID led to blockbusters flopping, Jada Simon opines./Marvel Entertainment

By Jada Simon


   Everyone knows that COVID has delayed everything, but one of the things it has greatly changed is the television and movie industry. As a result, some of the latest and greatest blockbusters ended up being a bust.

   “Morbius,” a 2022 blockbuster release, is a great example of a movie that left fans disappointed. This superhero thriller was originally expected to release on July 10, 2020, but its release date was pushed back on six separate occasions before it hit theaters.

   According to digitaltrends, the movie had constant delays due to theater closures caused by the pandemic. The combination of the perpetual delays with the eye-catching trailer being out for so long, left fans anxiously awaiting. But by the time it finally arrived in April 2022, the film’s action was not as entertaining as expected.

  The piece came off as rushed and incomprehensible. Screen Rant, an entertainment news outlet, said that the problem was “the film’s lack of structure and coherent script.” Not only had it missed the ideal release date, but “Morbius” also “moves at a rushed pace while compromising its timeline, characterization, and logic.” In the end, the scenes appeared poorly done and not thought out. 

   Post-production was assumed to have been rushed due to the release taking so long, since the studio was playing catch-up with all the other films that were pushed back by the pandemic as well. A St. Albert Gazette article says that, “Finishing a film in time for its premiere is often a scramble in a normal year, but with COVID-19 shutting down many facets of life in March [2020], movie-makers faced an even tougher deadline.”

   “Morbius” was a film that was brushed over and too hard to understand despite audiences’ high expectations, but truthfully, it was not alone. Many TV and film productions suffered at the hands of COVID and failed to meet their marks.

   We can also think back to the release of “Black Widow” in 2021 and the problem that Scarlett Johansson, the film’s titular character, had with landing a fair deal with Disney+ to secure her cut of streaming sales. 

   During the pandemic, Disney started to really take advantage of its online, subscription-based platform. For the industry, a lot of its revenue was starting to come from streaming at the pandemic’s peak. Johansson’s contract said nothing of getting profit from the streaming platform’s proceeds, only from theater-related profit, meaning she would miss out on all the money Disney+ was making on the movie. CNBC said that Johansson argued a majority of her profit was expected to come from box office sales in her Disney lawsuit and that adding “Black Widow” to Disney+ without receiving a portion of the profit would “cost her a $50 million payout.”

   It turns out that many companies were following this trend, but she was not going to be one to get caught in that spider’s web. Gabrielle Carteris, the president of the Screen Actors Guild said, “Scarlett Johansson is shining a white-hot spotlight on the improper shifts in compensation that companies are attempting to slip by talent as distribution models change.” 

   So, yes, many things have changed due to the pandemic, but the media industry really has some slack to pick up. Consumers are constantly going to theaters hoping that these supposed blockbusters will live up to the name, only to be met with disappointment.

   How long can media production shortcomings fall on the excuse of the pandemic?

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