Film-makers were some of the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic, with over a quarter of a million people dying in less than a year after contracting the virus. The much-publicized loss of life set production companies back significantly, as many films were shut down or scaled back to focus on producing shorter-length projects or series instead. This write-up focuses specifically on those films that made it to post-production and received at least one show during the COVID pandemic (Mar 2020 – Sep 2021). As such, certain omissions must be noted.
While notable movies before 2020 made their way into theaters over those 20 months, they were not produced during the outbreak era and therefore did not count towards making it into this article. In addition to this, animated films are not included in the list. While animation studios attempted to continue production during the COVID pandemic, they suffered greatly due to a shortage in manpower and equipment. Additionally, the very nature of animated films means that they can be produced without any human involvement at all.
While not perhaps the highest-grossing of all time, these films are best known and most beloved. Some primarily for their technical expertise while others were primarily well received because of their storylines or actors portraying them while still, other films in this list are remarkable principally because they did get made during that time at all.
The following is a listing by date of release followed by title then gross earnings over its lifetime, #of tickets sold domestically, #of admissions domestically/worldwide, Production Budget International Box Office Worldwide Lifetime Grosses. All figures are updated as of August 2020.
Without further ado:
Mar 17th 2020 – Tomb Raider Reboot – $55M/$46M/$491 24M
May 19th 2020 – Paper Towns – $32M/$26M/$69 19M
May 26th 2020 – Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie – $37M/$31.5M /$63.3 9.6M
May 26th 2020 – The Librarian Saves the Day (TV movie) – $38M/$35M /$76.7 8.6 M
June 2nd 2020 – Norm of the North 2: Keys to the Kingdom – $30M/$27.2/ $51 7.4 M
Jun 16th 2020 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3 (final installment) $43M/$37.8/59 23 M
Jul 28th 2020- Lego Jurassic World (reboot of the franchise) – $35M/$31.4/ $65.7 9.5 M
Aug 4th 2020 – Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (sequel to trilogy) – $45M/$41.3/132 33 M
Aug 11th 2020 – Final Destination 6 (reboot; 6; final installment of franchise?)- $38M/$33.6/114 28 M
Sep 1st 2020 – Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (reboot of franchise) – $30M /$26.5 /86 23 M
Sep 8th 2020- Descendants 3 (final installment in series)- $59M/$50.9 /161 42 m
Sep 15, 2020 – Charlie’s Angels Reboot – $31M/$26.8/ $71 19 M
Nov 10th 2020 – Pokémon: Piplup’s Wish (animated film) – $25M /$23.3/38 11 M
Dec 14th 2020- Goosebumps 2 (sequel to reboot franchise)- $32M/$29.1/72 21 m
Jan 18th 2021- Lego DC Justice League vs Bizarro League (animated film) – $22M/$20.2/48 13 m
May 9th 2021- Minecraft Movie (animated film) – TBA /TBA /TBA N\A
Total lifetime earnings from ticket sales domestically: $1.288 T
Total lifetime earnings from ticket sales internationally: $1.098 T
Production Budget (not including marketing costs) : $58M
International Box Office Worldwide: $790 M
Lifetime Grosses: Grossed over 1 B USD at the box office. #of tickets sold domestically: 112 M # of admissions domestically/worldwide: 100 M
Sep 28th 2021 – The One and Only Ivan (animated film)- TBA /TBA /N\A
Total lifetime earnings from ticket sales domestically: N/A
Total Lifetime earnings from ticket sales internationally: N/A
Production Budget (not including marketing costs): N/A
International Box Office Worldwide: N/A
Lifetime Grosses: N/A #of tickets sold domestically: N/A # of admissions domestically/worldwide: N/A
Note:- To be clear, this write-up is not suggesting that the films listed are “good” or “bad.” They were selected by box office reception during the pandemic era. It’s simply a list of movies that saw at least one showing during the COVID pandemic years (Mar 2020 – Sep 2021). Films released before 2020 but made their theatrical release post-COVID are therefore not considered for this article. Only those films with confirmed showings in theatres over those 20 months qualify. The total lifetime earnings for the list were $2.52 T and 1 B tickets were sold domestically while 100 M admissions took place internationally.
In conclusion, this article is less about the quality of what was released during the pandemic years, rather it’s more about the fact that so many major motion pictures were able to be made at all. Many other films are listed in this article simply because they were made during that period. Therefore, the upcoming movie release schedule is still as strong as ever. This is simply a list of films seen by at least one audience, with the earnings and ticket sales discussed in detail later in this article.