America has been bracing for the impact of Hurricane Dorian, which is currently unleashing its fury on the Bahamas, and is expected to approach the coast of Florida in he evening hours of Labor Day. The storm's continued ferocity is forcing businesses all over Florida to close, and the film industry is certainly no exempt.
At the time of writing this, it's being reported that major movie theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark are all closing locations across Florida, in anticipation of Dorian's arrival. So, if any adventurous types were hoping to ride out a hurricane in the comfort of a movie theater marathon... they better think again.
Here's the list of movie theater closures, according to Deadline:
"Cinemark closed theaters in Boca Raton, Boynton and Davie last night at 8PM. Regal counts at least 13 sites that are shuttered including such mega-plexes as the Royal Palm Beach 18, and the Sawgrass Stadium 23 in Sunrise, South Beach 18 in Miami. AMC has closed ten locations including venues in Pompano Beach, the Cityplace 20 in West Palm Beach, and the Indian River 24 in Vero Beach. AMC even plans to close its Myrtle Beach 12 as far north as South Carolina today in anticipation of Dorian."
That last part is especially eye-opening, as AMC is forecasting that Dorian will be so bad that the company is closing theater chains as far up the coast as South Carolina. That must be a pretty solid bet for the theater chain to commit to that kind of revenue loss - but don't think these companies aren't still keeping their eyes on the money.
This upcoming weekend will see the release of Warner Bros.' blockbuster horror sequel, IT: CHAPTER TWO, which is expected to bring in a big opening weekend box office. Deadline notes in its report that, "Most of these sites aren't expected to re-open until Tuesday and Wednesday, in time for New Line's It: Chapter Two which starts previews on Thursday night."
Now granted, Dorian is projected to have moved up the coast to the South Carolina coastal area by Thursday when IT: Chapter Two opens, so the Florida locations should be free to re-open (barring any destruction to those locations). Overall, the storm isn't expected to cripple the post-Labor Day box office all that much. Deadline notes in its report that storm events like the January 2016 deep-freeze on the East Coast (from NC up to NYC) had a much more widespread and significant box office impact.
Economics aside, we wish for the best for everyone in Florida and along the coast currently dealing with Dorian.
IT: CHAPTER TWO opens in theaters this Friday.