Movie theaters all around the world are shut down currently, including AMC, the largest theater chain in the U.S. The question right now is, when will theaters reopen their doors? According to AMC CEO Adam Aron, the hope is that they will be able to resume business sometime this summer, possibly by June, if all goes well.
Adam Aron recently appeared as a guest on Squawk Alley. During the conversation. The subject of when theaters might be able to resume operations came up. When AMC first shut down, it was said they expected to be closed for six to 12 weeks. The shutdown began on March 17, meaning we're only two weeks in at this point. Aron had this to say about it now, suggesting he hopes moviegoers can return for the summer movie season.
"The summer has always been one of the biggest movie seasons of the year, the summer and Christmas. I would love to think that America will be enjoying summer movie season again, at AMC Theatres, open, welcoming our customers back... When we did shut, we said we expected to be shut for six to twelve weeks. That would be May 1 to mid-June. That might be more the right timing, but nobody knows."
The harsh truth of the matter right now is that's more guesswork than anything else. This situation is truly unprecedented and rapidly evolving. At this point, most big summer movies have been delayed, some far into 2021. Tenet, Top Gun: Maverick and several others have clung to their current release dates in the hopes that theaters will manage to open their doors again come late June or July.
One of the biggest issues will be getting moviegoers back into theaters once things return to normal. An increasing number of recent and upcoming theatrical releases are being made available digitally, for a premium, from the comfort of home. That, coupled with a general fear of gathering in large crowds, could hurt the theatrical exhibition business in a big way. Adam Aron views things differently.
"I've been reading for years about a perception that there was going to be a switch towards home entertainment. I think if we learned anything in the last two weeks is people just so want to get out of their houses. I think we're all feeling cooped up and want to get out and have life return to normal."
Billions in box office dollars have already been lost at this point. Movie theaters in China have been closed for weeks. Recently, the country started to reopen some theaters in less-populated areas, but they were quickly forced to close their doors again. The question now is, will all of these theater chains be able to weather the storm? If not, what will the theatrical side of the movie business look like on the other side of this situation? For now, we are left with more questions than answers. This news comes to us via CNBC.