AMC Theaters reported amid the hefty financial crash COVID-19 caused the entertainment industry that the world’s largest movie theater chain lost $2.2 billion in Q1. (Yeah, that’s with a “B”) This was devastating news as all cinephiles could do is sit back and listen about a powerhouse in cinema taking a bath with “virtually no revenue” in a 14-day period ending March 30.
COVID-19 pummeled the entertainment industry maybe worse than any other. This was our getaway, our respite in bad times, and in some of the worst, that was taken from us as well. Although Coronavirus wasn’t the only bad thing plaguing theaters, there were trends people around the world helped skyrocket to hammer movie theater chains even more.
Even if governmental operating restrictions are lifted in certain jurisdictions, distributors may delay the release of new films until such time that operating restrictions are eased more broadly domestically and internationally, which may further limit our operations.AMC Theaters’ Regulatory SEC Filing, q1 2020
Things looked grim for AMC Theaters, much to the chagrin of many movie fans. Will it be bankruptcy? Theater closings? Furloughed and fired employees? All, yes, but not for long…
As if ripped from the script of a summer blockbuster, AMC Theaters is coming back — strong.
AMC Theaters are OPEN, but Is Anyone Home
The New York Times reports the world’s largest movie theater chain is coming back in mid-July, opening “almost all” of its theaters across the United States and United Kingdom. Naturally, this is just in time for Christopher Nolan to get all the help he can for a successful opening run with Tenet, because — be honest — dude really needs the help.
The question racking everyone’s brain is, while they want the theaters to open, will they even show up?
“Moviegoers will be looking for assurance that conditions are completely safe…There is real and legitimate concern.”David A. Gross, CEO, Franchise Entertainment Research
There is concern, but like with everything missing in the grocery stores, if people want it bad enough, a trip will be made. And people want movie theaters to open badly.
Come Out, COME OUT Wherever you are
Cinema marquees around the world have mostly all shown the “down but definitely not out” message, which has been enough hope we need to hold on. Local movie houses will consult the CDC, but what will AMC Theaters do to ensure to throng of fans put their butts in those overpriced, pleather seats? According to the story, there are some drastic measures for the consumer’s safety, including:
- Limiting capacity, as much as 25 percent
- Groups will be seated, checkerboard-style and six feet apart
- Designated arrival times for ticket buyers to reduce last-minute crowding at concession counters (MEMO to all geckaphiles for the next Marvel or DC offering)
- A universal demand on contactless ticket and concession sales (i.e., mobile ordering)
- Pre-sanitized seats, which will mean a skosh longer wait to get in the theater
- Some theaters are even thinking of disposable seat covers, because everyone sounding like they are wearing diapers during a horror flick is what you want to set the mood
- Masks and gloves on all employees.
- And, uh, you patrons may have to do the same
And lastly, AMC Theaters is investigating purchases of high-tech “electrostatic sprayers,” vacuums, and beefed-up ventilation systems. That may be where the more than $500 million they raised during the pandemic is going, which is a good thing. Cinemark, which already announced a July opening, is looking into these precautions as well.
If not for anything else, than there may be a day — albeit not soon — where this glorious and rousing celebration could be coming to an AMC Theater (or any other movie house) near you.