Since the coronavirus pandemic caused the closure of movie theaters worldwide, companies such as AMC and Cinemark have feared that their theaters may be heading into bankruptcy. Now, as the world begins to phase out of lockdown, theaters are planning to reopen this summer.
AMC, the world’s largest theater operator, announced on Tuesday its plans to reopen almost all of its theaters by mid-July.
During the near three-month cinema blackout worldwide, many production companies turned to digital-only releases. Back in April, AMC and Cineworld announced they will no longer show Universal films following their decision to release Trolls World Tour directly through on-demand video services. This decision caused a massive loss in revenue for the picture houses who were anticipating the film to make its debut once doors reopened.
Now, it seems as though movie theaters are planning to open sooner than anticipated. On Tuesday, AMC Theaters announced that 97 to 98 percent of its theaters will be reopened by mid-July. As well, The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) anticipates that 90 to 95 percent of all cinemas worldwide will be open by mid-July.
However, moviegoers shouldn’t expect trips to the cinema to resume as normal. Since the pandemic began, many film releases have been delayed significantly and some have moved exclusively to streaming services. Due to this, it is anticipated that many movie theaters will have a limited selection of films playing as they reopen.
As well, social distancing measures will likely cause theaters to have capacity restrictions. As some California theaters begin to open this month, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued some guidelines. California theaters are required to either allow 25 percent of its capacity or 100 attendees per theater, whichever is lower. This restriction is also being implemented in other states.
Despite these quick plans to reopen, some still won’t be flocking to the theaters anytime soon. A new study from Performance Research and Full Circle Research Co. says that 70 percent of its respondents would rather watch a movie at home versus the theater. This is compared to the mere 13 percent who would opt to visit the cinema. However, some may be more willing to visit their local theaters once a vaccine is available.
For those excited to return to the theaters, some big blockbusters are planning to hit the big screen this summer. Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet is set for a July 17 release. With a reported budget of more than $200 million, screenings of this Warner Bros. film will serve as a trial balloon on just how many are willing to attend movie theaters during this time.
Movie theaters worldwide have seen massive losses due to the pandemic. Back in March, NATO received a $456 billion loan agreement from the Senate. The loan has helped nationwide theaters, both independent and franchise-owned, stay afloat during the coronavirus shutdown. With a near $2 billion loss since the pandemic began, AMC theaters are hoping this summer will bring back some revenue and entertainment for movie lovers.
Will you go and see movies at the theater this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!