AMC Theatres has announced that they will wait for new movies from studios before opening their doors again. States like Georgia and Texas are currently experimenting with opening businesses, including movie theaters. However, the National Association of Theatre Owners, NATO, noted that it wouldn't be that easy for chains like AMC and Cinemark to simply just open their doors and welcome moviegoers back. So, it looks like theaters could open up again by the beginning of July, thanks to Disney and Warner Bros.
Christopher Nolan's Tenet is still scheduled to hit theaters on July 17th and Disney still has their live-action Mulan scheduled to open on July 24th. These are the projects that AMC, along with other theaters, are banking on in order to reopen. Theaters across North America have been closed since the middle of March. AMC had this to say about reopening in a statement.
"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 businesses in Georgia and Texas are starting to open up, AMC will remain closed until at least the beginning of July. This seems like a safe bet, but it's unclear where the world will be at that time, or even next week, for that matter. Things are constantly changing, but Warner Bros. and Disney are keeping the faith, which is in turn giving movie theaters some hope. You can read the rest of AMC's statement below.
"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."
Cinemark has announced similar plans, along with Regal Cinemas. More than 150,000 theater workers have been laid off or furloughed since March. AMC has been reportedly looking into bankruptcy options while holding a massive debt sale at the same time. Cinemark also embarked on a debt sale, which seems to have worked out well for both chains in terms of staying afloat until the summer.
In addition to Tenet, Warner Bros. also has Wonder Woman 1984 scheduled to hit theaters on August 14th. The original release date was June 4th, but that was delayed for obvious reasons. So far, it seems like these release dates will stick, but what will the moviegoing experience look like after all of this? Social distancing will limit how many patrons are allowed in theaters, while other precautions will surely be taken, including intense cleaning and sanitizing. For now, we'll just have to wait and see if people will even be interested in visiting a movie theater. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to publish AMC's statement.