AMC, Cinemark won’t close theaters even as blockbusters flee 2020

AMC multiplex movie theater.

NicolasMcComber

AMC Theaters, the largest cinema chain in the U.S., and rival Cinemark said they have no plans to shutter theaters even as additional Hollywood blockbusters postpone their release dates to next year.

Early Tuesday, both chains said that 80% of their U.S.-based locations are open to the public and will remain so in spite of daunting headwinds.

Shares of AMC were up more than 3% in premarket trading Tuesday, while Cinemark shares rose nearly 3%. 

The announcement comes after Cineworld said Monday that it would temporarily shutter all of its U.S. and U.K. locations due to disappointing box office results and the postponement of films like “Black Widow,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” and “No Time to Die.”

With 500 less theaters in the U.S., Warner Bros. postponed a number of its big-budget features including “Dune,” “The Batman” and its new “Matrix” film.

Not to mention, theater chains like AMC are still waiting for New York and California to allow more theaters to reopen. Spikes in coronavirus cases in those states have led lawmakers to slow down reopenings and place steep caps on attendance for locations that are permitted to reopen.

“Some of our best partners like Disney, with its much anticipated ‘Soul,’ and Universal with ‘The Croods: A New Age,’ have new movies scheduled for theatrical release over the next month and a half,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

While Universal’s sequel to “The Croods” may remain in theaters, due to the studio’s new video on-demand agreement with AMC, it’s very likely that Disney will uproot “Soul” from the calendar in favor of a later theatrical release or a push to its own streaming service, Disney+.

AMC also touted smaller budget films like “The War With Grandpa,” “Yellow Rose,” “Honest Thief” and “The Empty Man” as possible traffic drivers for its theaters.

“Cinemark’s reopening plan was designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to this ever-changing environment,” the company said in a statement. 

“We will continue to open theatres as governmental restrictions allow and look forward to welcoming even more moviegoers to enjoy this year’s newest films, our Comeback Classics and Private Watch Parties,” it continued. 

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