Earlier yesterday reports came out that Cineworld was considering shutting down it’s theaters in the United States and United Kingdom either temporary or permanent. This is due to the lack of big budget movies being released in the near future. When the announcement came out earlier that the most recent James Bond film No Time To Die was being pushed to April 2021 it left a big void of upcoming movies. Now the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021 have no major movies premiering. This is ultimately leaving a big void in the theater business which has Cineworld contemplating if it would be better to just shutdown instead of operating at a loss. While the announcement and decision would have a dramatic impact financially on Cineworld, AMC Theaters is looking at this time period with no major movies as an opportunity.
AMC is the largest movie theater business in the United States and is taking a different approach to Cineworld. Since the Covid-19 shutdown AMC has slowly began to open its theaters in the United States while maintaining high standards to protect against Covid-19. AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement, “We take great comfort in knowing that literally millions of moviegoers have already visited our theatres. They have done so in part because of our AMC Safe & Clean protocols, developed in consultation with Clorox and faculty of the Harvard University School of Public Health. Our guests are telling us that our theatres have never been cleaner, and that they recognize the great effort AMC is making to keep them healthy and safe.”
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He added, “Fortunately for AMC, our groundbreaking agreement with Universal Studios announced earlier this summer puts AMC in a position where we can open our theatres when others may feel the need to close. We are fully comfortable showing Universal films in our theaters, even as they implement premium video on demand as we have mutually agreed. This is because AMC will share in premium revenues coming from their early availability in the home.” While it was originally panned as a bad idea, it seems that the agreement between Universal and AMC is what is going to save the movie theater business.
Unlike its main competition, AMC is banking on the upcoming mid-budget movies in October and November to build consumer confidence. The upcoming movie slate includes 101 Studios’ War With Grandpa and Sony’s Yellow Rose this Friday, Open Road’s Honest Thief and Freestyle’s 2 Heartson October 16, 20th Century Studios’ Empty Manon October 23, Focus/Amblin’s Come Playon October 30, Focus’ Let Him Goon November 6, Universal’s Freakyand Cloudburst’s The Comeback Trailon November 13, Disney’s Soul on November 20 and Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age and Sony’s The Happiest Seasonon November 25.
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