AMC multiplex movie theater.
The CEO of the largest theater chain in America is hoping to have locations open by mid-June.
Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, admits that it is unclear exactly when the movie theater industry will be back on its feet in the wake of the coronavirus, but he’s certain moviegoers will be eager to return to cinemas.
“The summer has always been one of the biggest movie seasons of the year, the summer and Christmas,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.” “I would love to think
Earlier this month, AMC had said it expected to be shut down for six to 12 weeks, which would place its reopening between May and mid-June.
Shares of AMC were up around 4% on Tuesday, but have fallen more than 54% since January.
Because of theater closures across the country and internationally, studios have been vacating their release dates through June and July. Only a handful of titles remain at their original release dates.
On Monday, Sony moved most of its 2020 titles from their release dates to 2021. Disney has displaced “Mulan” and “Black Widow,” but hasn’t assigned new release dates, Warner Bros. has opted to push “Wonder Woman 1984” to August 2020 from June and Universal has delayed “F9” to 2021.
And that’s just some of the big blockbusters among dozens of midbudget and independent films that have been rescheduled or are currently looking for new weekends to debut.
“I’ve been reading for years about a perception that there was going to be a switch towards home entertainment,” Aron said. “I think if we learned anything in the last two weeks is people just so want to get out of their houses. I think we’re all feeling cooped up and want to get out and have life return to normal.”
So far, only two movies have decided to go straight to on demand instead of going to theaters — Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” and Paramount Pictures “The Lovebirds.” “Trolls World Tour” was originally going to be simultaneously released in theaters and at home before all theaters were shuttered.
Other theatrical films went to on demand sooner than expected only because theaters were closed.
Aron said that AMC is currently exploring what its strategy will be once it is able to reopen its theater locations. He said the company is looking at temperature-reading machines as well as stricter cleaning procedures.
“I am very focused on getting AMC to the other side of this crisis,” he said.
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