A new study reveals that the majority of moviegoers are willing to return to theaters this summer. According to the study, moviegoers are only willing to return if theaters start implementing safety measures. Major movie theater chains like AMC and Cinemark have been closed since the middle of March and have been losing money left and right. At one point in time, it looked like AMC wasn't going to be able to ever open up again. However, it looks like there could be some promising news on the horizon.
The study by EDO, titled Movie Theaters and Social Distancing, says that 75% of moviegoers are ready to return this July to see Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan as long as certain safety measures are met. For instance, 91% of everybody polled say movie theaters will have to have hand sanitizer when they open up again. 86% of moviegoers are in favor of limited showtimes, which would allow for proper time to clean theaters between showings.
77% of moviegoers are in favor of theater employees having their temperatures checked before shifts, but only 60% say they would be willing to have their own temperature checked before seeing a movie. 70% of say they are in favor of both employees and patrons wearing masks the entire time. This is positive news for big chain movie theaters, but it is still unclear if July will be the right time to open movie theaters from a scientific point of view, even as people start to get a little restless having to remain indoors.
Interestingly, the EDO survey says that 5% of moviegoers would return to theaters without any safety implementation. These people say they are willing to return to theaters in general, at 40%, while 36% said no. When the safety preparations are included the likely number of moviegoers jumps to 75%, so it seems that the majority of people will only return if and when it is safe to do so. Another factor that made people more likely to come back to the movies in July is being able to RSVP for a showing, which a lot of people take part in already through services like Fandango.
For now, major theater chains will remain closed until at least July. There is a lot of hope that Christopher Nolan's Tenet will be the 2020 savior in an effort to get back to some type of normalcy. For now, it looks like big cities like Los Angeles will recommend staying indoors until at least July, so opening theaters could happen, as long as things don't get any worse. The news changes every few minutes, so we'll obviously just have to wait and see. Deadline was the first to report on the EDO Movie Theaters and Social Distancing survey.