As stay at home orders begin to lift across the country, various businesses are also getting the green light by government officials to reopen to the public, including movie theaters. In recent days there have been reports that theaters in Texas, Georgia, and other places will be allowed to open again soon but even with the theaters themselves being open for business, getting people to come out and buy tickets is a different matter entirely. Not only are there very few new films set for release in the very short term due to schedules being shifted and pushed back, but people may be a bit wary after weeks of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One idea to help bring people back to the theaters is to rerelease some blockbuster films including Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It's an idea that the Russo Brothers support.
During a recent appearance on Cinemablend's Reel Blend podcast, Joe Russo explained that the theatrical experience and the emotional connection fans got from Infinity War and Endgame were career highlights for himself and his brother, Anthony, and that they'd be "ecstatic" to be part of what brings people back to the movies.
"The theatrical experience is a community experience. Perhaps the most touching moments of our entire careers was a few weeks ago when the lockdown started and Endgame was trending on social media because everyone was posting videos of the opening night screenings in the theaters with audiences really emotionally connected to the material," Russo said. "For us that's really the strength of the theatrical experience, that it combined audiences and it combined you globally and to have been part of movies that did that on that scale with that level of emotional connection from the audience was really very touching and will be the highlight of our careers so you know, using those films to get people back in the theaters we would be ecstatic. Any opportunity for people to go back and share in those stories together is one that we would support."
The idea that rereleasing some of the biggest movie hits of the decade would be a good way to bring people back to theaters is one that Chinese theaters had planned on for the reopening of their theaters. The plan included releasing all four of Marvel's Avengers movies as well as other big hits such as Avatar and Christopher Nolan's Inception and Interstellar to help bolster audience attendance.
Chinese theaters were initially expected to implement this strategy with theater openings in late March, but theaters were shut down after briefly reopening. Now, it's looking more like theaters in China will reopen in June though it remains unclear what movies they will reopen with.
In the United States, while states are beginning to allow for theaters to reopen, it may still be awhile before a rerelease of Infinity War or Endgame would happen on a large scale if at all. Most major cinema chains aren't expected to open just yet even in states where social distancing rules are relaxed. AMC recently indicated that they don't plan to open up until major studio tentpoles are playing again likely in July. Other theaters may continue to stay closed just due to operating costs, waiting to come back to life when new films are available in the hope that new entertainment will be enough on its own to bring people back.