With COVID-19 cases once again spiking throughout the country, movie studios such as Disney and Warner Bros. have opted to push back the release dates of their summer films to August, allowing more time for safety. Of course, now that studios are hitting the pause button on their movie season restarts, the theater chains are following suit. AMC Theatres announced on Monday that the reopening of its locations would be delayed as well.
Previously, AMC had planned to open the majority of its theaters on July 15th, showing a few older event films to get things back up and running ahead of Tenet and Mulan. Now, following the delays of those two major films, AMC has opted to push its reopening date back two weeks. The theater chain is currently hoping to resume operations at at least 450 of its 600+ locations in the United States.
The goal will be to have all of the locations opened by early August, in order to accommodate the major event films coming that month. WB's Tenet is scheduled to be released on August 12th, followed by Disney's live-action Mulan on August on August 21st.
"We continue to devote extraordinary resources into our plan to operate our theatres with a hyper commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates, notably in the United States through our new AMC Safe & Clean initiative," said AMC Theatres CEO and President Adam Aron. "Our theatre general managers across the U.S. started working full time again today and are back in their theatres gearing up to get their buildings fully ready just a few weeks from now for moviegoers. That happy day, when we can welcome guests back into most of our U.S. theatres, will be Thursday, July 30."
While Tenet is the first major release scheduled to hit theaters after reopening, the very first film on the slate is actually the thriller Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe. Unhinged was set to arrive in the middle of July, but has since moved to July 31st, taking over Tenet's previous release date.
Only time will tell whether or not these dates actually hold, as things have changed numerous times over the last few weeks. If there isn't any slow-down in the spread of COVID-19 by the end of July, theater chains could be discussing yet another delay.