While most of 2020’s anticipated big releases–including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live action Mulan–no longer have a confirmed release window, AMC is hoping to re-open its theatres in mid to late August as the costs of being shuttered mount. According to a Business Wire report, the date reflects the expected eventual release dates of some of the delayed films.
While theaters were initially expected to begin re-opening in July, re-opening dates have continually been pushed back in line with rolling delays to film release dates. In the latest move, Warner Bros removed Tenet completely from the schedule for the time being, leading a number of other upcoming films to follow suit.
While cinemas in some markets would be relatively safe to re-open, with AMC now planning to institute a compulsory mask-wearing policy, the theater chains don’t want to open too soon before they have new films to show. Around one third of AMC’s theaters outside of the United States have already re-opened.
With cinemas closed for four months now, the National Association of Theater Owners has begged the big studios to stop withholding films, even if it means the blockbusters don’t get the simultaneous worldwide drops they’re used to.
“We need their movies,” the association’s president John Fithian told Fortune. “Distributors who want to play movies theatrically, they can’t wait until 100% of markets are allowed open because that’s not going to happen until there’s a vaccine widely available in the world. The old distribution models of big blockbusters need to be rethought.”