We’ve been talking a lot about when movie theaters are going to reopen. First, they were all coming back in July, then there was some back and forth about masks and COVID precautions. Blockbusters that absolutely have to have a big screen debut (AKA they cost too much to release to streaming) like Tenet got pushed back several times with Mulan being taken off the release calendar altogether. As the virus shows no signs of slowing down and allowing us to resume our regularly scheduled lives, it looks like our trips to the movies will be put off a little longer. AMC, one of the largest movie theater chains in the US, is pushing back their reopen date to mid-to-late August. The reason, though, is slightly more practical: there’s nothing to show.
With summer blockbusters pushing back their release dates because of coronavirus, AMC Theatres is delaying its opening once again.
The world’s biggest movie-theater chain is postponing the reopening of its US theaters to “mid-to-late August,” the company said Thursday. AMC (AMC) was set to have a phased reopening on July 15 with the hopes of being fully operational by July 24. That date was then pushed back to July 30 late last month.
The reason for yet another delay is simple: There are no new movies to show in theaters.
“This new timing reflects currently expected release dates for much anticipated blockbusters like Warner Bros.’ ‘Tenet’ and Disney’s ‘Mulan,’ as well as release dates for several other new movies,” the company said in a release.
This article was published yesterday, AMC is kind of cutting it close to the wire with these announcements, aren’t they? You show up at the theater with your purse full of snacks and soda and the lone theater manager is sitting there, reading a newspaper going, “oh, whoops. Yeah, come back next week? Maybe next month? Mm’kay, here’s a voucher for some Sno-Caps.” I assume it’s not just the opening dates getting pushed back slowing the reopening, but all the new production dates getting pushed back as well. I know Jurassic World has resumed filming (in London) and I think Tyler Perry’s studios are back to filming, but many productions are still shut down. Once these theaters open, they may be at a want for content.
Although we should all still be considering safety first, this does make sense from a business standpoint. It’s the first time since their inception that multiplexes are actually working against these chains. With limited inventory, a single screen theater would be better off. Although, it would be safer to show one movie on multiple screens and cut the audience capacity to 1/3 for each theater. I, however, agree with CB in that I would love to see Drive In theaters come back strong as a result of all this. The closest one to my home, that’s open, is about a 40-minute drive, and that can be dicey in the LA area. Still, I miss going to the movies enough that I may be willing to blow a Friday night and make the trek.
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