Coronavirus cases are rising in about half of US states, and so naturally, some Republican governors are ready to declare victory. Georgia’s Brian Kemp is leading the charge, and this upcoming Monday the Peach State will reopen its gyms, bowling alleys, massage parlors, and movie theaters. But the fact that they can open doesn’t mean they will, and today AMC Theatres announced it won’t unshut any of its 6,300+ cinemas until Hollywood studios begin releasing new blockbuster movies.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, AMC released a statement detailing their plans for the next few months. After the usual caveats about “the health and safety of our guests,” the world’s largest movie theater chain suggested that simply lifting stay-at-home orders won’t be enough to put butts into seats. Instead, they need film titles “that get people truly excited.”
“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.”
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet drops on July 17th, and Mulan rides into battle on July 24th.
Of course, one flick does not pack a cineplex, so AMC plans to use “creative programming of immensely popular previously released films,” to fill out their marquees. All this talk about “blockbusters” and “immensely popular” movies is understandable from a corporate perspective, but by this point, fans of arthouse cinema will be close to despair. Indie theaters are struggling, and some of them won’t be coming back. When the pandemic is finally past us, the film industry will be even more geared towards low-risk sequels, remakes, and adaptations. It’s yet another example of how the COVID-19 pandemic is crippling the entertainment industry.