Both U.K.-based Cineworld—along with their U.S. subsidiary, Regal—and Cinemark have announced a delay in their planned reopenings to late July, reflective of shifting film releases.
Cineworld has announced that their theaters will begin reopening on Friday, July 31. This is a delay of three weeks from the July 10 date that was to see the opening of most of their locations in the U.S. and England. Cinemas are legally allowed to open in England as of this Saturday, July 4. When Cineworld and Regal reopen, they will screen new films in addition to repertory titles at a discounted price.
Said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger in a statement:
“We know audiences are ready to return to the movies and have been anticipating the strong slate of summer films ahead, including Tenet, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, Unhinged, The Broken Hearts Gallery, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Greenland, and Antebellum as well as a special re-release of Christopher Nolan’s Inception on Imax. We are excited to welcome theatergoers back to our cinemas and are confident that they will once again be immersed in the timeless theatrical experience they know and love.”
Cinemark, the third largest exhibitor in the United States, has similarly pushed back their planned release. The Texas-based chain began opening select theaters in the Dallas Fort Worth area on June 19; their phased reopening was to culminate on July 10, by which period all of Cinemark’s locations were slated to be open. Under the new plan, an unspecified amount of Cinemark locations will instead open on Friday, July 24, with additional theaters to open “in subsequent weeks,” per an official statement.
Said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi:
“Cinemark is pleased with the moviegoer response and key learnings from our initial five-theater test-and-learn phase in the Dallas area, and we look forward to welcoming movie fans back into our auditoriums across the country to enjoy this year’s newest films. Our multi-phased reopening plan was thoughtfully designed with multiple contingencies in place that enable us to efficiently adapt to today’s ever-changing environment. We continue to pay close attention to status of the virus, local mandates and availability of new content while prioritizing the health and safety of our guests, employees and communities.”
Yesterday saw AMC push the reopening date for the bulk of their U.S. theaters back by approximately two weeks, from July 15 to July 30. This comes after Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was moved back by Warner Bros. for the second time—first from July 17 to July 31, then (last Thursday) from July 31 to April 12. Disney’s Mulan has been pushed from July 24 to August 21.
These updated schedules from exhibitors and studios alike come at a time when Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise in multiple U.S. states, including California, which gave the legal go-ahead to theaters to open up as soon as June 12. According to John Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, Los Angeles is currently the county that boasts the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States. Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo removed movie theaters from the list of businesses allowed to reopen in the state’s upcoming Phase 4.