Global Cinema experience ‘is over’ if movie studios hold back releases for another year!

Hollywood studios delaying new movie releases and major theatre chains are holding off on re-opening…

Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Covid-19 pandemic has Hollywood studios holding off new releases and major theatre chains delaying their opening dates for moviegoers, but for how much longer!

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was originally expected to open on17 July but has been pushed until 12 August, while Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan has been delayed from July to 21 August.

The sequel to John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, which was set to debut on 20 March, is now expected in early September 2020.

In response to the delay in release dates, theatre chains are holding off on opening their doors.

AMC Theatres, the world’s largest cinema chain, initially planned to open on 15 July but has pushed the date back until 30 July.

Regal Cinemas, another major American movie theatre chain, also remains closed through the pandemic.

With postponed blockbuster release dates and the sustained closures of cinemas have had huge consequences for the film industry. The North American box office is expected to drop 61% per cent from 2019.

Wedbush securities estimate that the box office will total $4.4bn in 2020, compared to $11.4bn in 2019.

Part of the uncertainty for theatres arises from the fact that some US states have not given any guidance about when they can reopen their doors.

With Maryland, New York, North Carolina, New Mexico and New Jersey have not given reopening dates, according to, The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).

Studios have said they are ready to release films when health officials give the green light for theatres to open again to the public.

Photo by Donald Edgar on Unsplash

Looking across the pond to UK cinemas they have taken a step closer to reopening with the publication of government-endorsed guidelines for operating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A 29-page document, titled ‘Cinemas — keeping workers and customers safe during Covid-19’, has been issued ahead of a government-approved reopening date of July 4 in England and comes pretty close to three months since cinemas shut their doors as part of a nationwide lockdown.

It covers all social distancing (which is reduced to one metre) and hygiene measures that should be considered both in and out of the auditorium to tackle the spread of the virus.

The guidelines currently only apply to England and not the devolved nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales at this time.

The document will help exhibitors restart their businesses after a costly period of closures.

UK cinemas estimated loss of £5.7m ($7.1m) per day through a combination of eliminated revenues such as box office and screen advertising revenue, according to the UKCA.

With the reopening date of July 4 marking 105 days of closures since March 20, that adds up to total losses of £110.7m ($137.5m).

This week, exhibitors have been announcing plans to get back to business following a green light from the UK government to reopen cinemas from July 4. The Scottish government made its own announcement the following day, setting a date of July 15.

Photo by Li Lin on Unsplash

All cinemas are expected to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with all unions, workers, before reopening there doors for business.

In these very uncertain times, we may just see more and more theatrical releases coming to the BIG streaming services; like Netflix, Amazon and Apple definitely watch this space. I believe the “entertainment” arena is going to look a lot more different over the coming months even years to come.

By Pete Moore

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Peter Moore

Peter Moore

Peter has lived New York, Los Angeles and London working in the music, film and TV industries for over three decades helping creators realize their vision.

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