In a step towards back towards normal society in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; the world’s largest movie theater company announced their intention to reopen its doors in the U.S. and U.K. in time for the release of multiple blockbuster titles.
AMC shut its doors back in mid-March; but in an earnings call on Tuesday said it planned to reopen in time to show films like Christopher Nolan’s “Tenant,” on July 17 and a remake of Disney’s “Mulan,” a week later.
Restrictions like 25 percent capacity in individual theaters and a shorter list of movies actually shown at the cinemas means that things won’t be exactly the same right away; but it is still a reassuring step in the right direction.
“The company is looking forward to welcoming guests to its theatres as soon as it is safe and wise to do so, as well as being permissible under local, state /provincial and federal guidelines,” AMC said.
“After a period of time where billions of people have endured confinement and limited social interaction, we believe that there will be a significant pent-up demand to get back out in the world,” said CEO Adam Aron.
AMC’s American and British comebacks may be their more financially significant concerns; but company officials aren’t diving in blind.
The company began by opening some theaters it owns in Norway; to both gauge public demand as well and work out the specifics of how to successfully reopen elsewhere. Across 10 Norwegian venues, people bought 83 percent of available movie tickets.
The result was encouraging to AMC executives like Aron, who expressed “substantial doubts,” about the company’s ability to continue operating amidst the massive losses caused by COVID-19.
AMC made $941.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 compared to $1.2 billion in 2019 and an estimated $2.18 billion so far this year. But things may be on the rise with the announcement of their intention to reopen; as sock prices shot up 14 percent on Wednesday.
Cineworld, AMC’s biggest competition in the movie theater business, has also reported an estimated reopening in early to mid July.