AMC Theaters is still in the dark as to when they’ll reopen. They’re expecting and hoping to be back in business by July. The first major release of the summer may very well be Christopher Nolan’s Tenent, which Warner Bros. and Nolan are adamant about releasing this summer. Now, some states are already planning Phase I of reopening. For example, Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp is reopening theaters in his state this Friday. Don’t expect AMC to open their doors back up there, though.
Clearly, the state of Georgia is jumping the gun. Kemp has already faced great criticism for reopening parts of the state. He’s reopening nail salons, gyms, movie theaters, and of all places, bowling alleys. AMC, however, is waiting until the threat of the coronavirus has actually lessened.
AMC Theaters is the largest chain in the United States with over 6,000 theaters. They’ve taken a mighty huge hit from the coronavirus and even considered filing bankruptcy. As bad as business is, safety is still the top priority for the theater. In a statement, a rep from AMC clarified their plans for the future:
“As we plan our reopening, the health and safety of our guests and associates is our absolute highest priority. To be able to open, we also need a line of sight into a regular schedule of new theatrical blockbusters that get people truly excited about returning to their favorite movie theaters. Those blockbusters are scheduled to return this summer, beginning with Warner Brothers’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan, with many more major titles scheduled immediately thereafter.
“While we expect to open our theaters in the weeks ahead of these new blockbusters, utilizing creative programming of immensely popular previously released films, we would be wise to do so only directly in advance of the release of major new movie titles. AMC is currently working through every detail required to successfully showcase these exciting new releases in an environment that’s safe and welcoming for moviegoers, and we will share those details as we get closer to the dates when our theaters will reopen.”
What Will Moviegoing Look Like This Summer?
Most major studios have pulled all their big releases from the summer schedule. Fast & Furious sequel and Jungle Cruise got delayed to next summer. A couple of major titles remain, however, with Tenant, Wonder Woman 1984, Mulan, and the next Spongebob adventure.
Theaters will continue to encourage social distancing. If AMC Theaters does show Tenet in their theaters, expect changes. Theatergoers will be spread out in theaters with multiple screens showing the title. Since filmmaker Christopher Nolan has been supportive of the theatrical business during this time, theater owners want to repay him by giving him as many screens as possible from the sound of it.
Will People Show Up?
Another major question is, will people feel safe even returning to movie theaters this summer? It’s going to take time for a lot of movie fans to feel comfortable about returning to busy movie theaters. Theaters will likely take extra precautions such as employees wearing masks, intense cleaning of the theaters, and encouraging social distancing in lines for snacks and beverages.
We’ll likely see more studios drop titles on streaming platforms throughout the summer, but studios want to keep their huge releases in theaters. Which, of course, eases the minds of theater owners, knowing they’ll actually have titles to show when they reopen their doors to the public.
While state governors continue to decide the fate of their states and people, we’ll hear more news soon about the future of movie theaters such as AMC. By the way, a landlord in Florida just sued AMC for not paying rent for one of their locations. They asked landlords to be understanding during this time, as have a few major businesses (like The Cheesecake Factory), but one Florida landlord wasn’t having it.