Coronavirus & The Entertainment Industry: 03/19/2020

Here is a frequently-updated rundown of all the important ways the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the global entertainment industry today:

HBO Max Delays 'Friends' Reunion
Ad Week is reporting that HBO Max has delayed production on the "Friends" reunion special it had planned to have ready for the new streaming service's launch. The special - which will apparently be a panel-like discussion that includes the entire cast - will still be produced at some point, hopefully in time for the HBO Max launch in May.

'Minions' Sequel Pulled From Release Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Universal and Illumination have delayed the release “Minions: The Rise of Gru," the latest tentpole film to get pushed back amid the coronavirus pandemic. The animated family film was scheduled to hit theaters July 3rd and Variety notes part of the delay is due to the shutdown of the French animation studio that was completing work on the film:

"In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families,” Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said in a statement. “This means we will be unable to finish ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions."

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