Movie Theaters Will Likely Take Longer to Reopen in New York and Los Angeles

New York and Los Angeles movie theaters will likely take longer to reopen than the rest of the country. This week has seen a small population of people become antsy because of social distancing. With that anxiety, and the push to “get back to normal,” certain industries look toward the day they can open again. But, Variety’s report on the prospect doesn’t paint a rosy picture for big-city theater locations. Smaller population areas will be able to recover more readily, but their larger counterparts face a taller task. Those conclusions largely reflect the reporting about how the biggest parts of the country have handled the virus so far. Following that logic, it’s not a surprise that the process could be more lengthy in major metros.

“New York and Los Angeles are going to take a lot more time [to reopen] than Montana,” explains Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock, a box office analyst. “Nobody is going to open ‘Mulan’ or ‘Tenet’ if it’s just submarkets. I just don’t see a big blockbuster opening off the bat, no matter how much assurance we have. This is going to take a while for [people] to adjust to.”

“If movie theaters across the world are open to different degrees, financially it becomes very difficult because [big-budget movies] rely on global grosses,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst with Comscore added in the report. “Theaters generate a tremendous amount of revenue, and that’s how these movies earn back their budget. If you have limited seating capacity, it could be more difficult… There’s going to be a blockbuster that will take advantage of pent-up demand. But first, people have to feel safe and comfortable.”

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Summer still has some titles on the slate including: The King of Staten Island (June 19), Tenet (July 17), Mulan (July 24) and Wonder Woman 1984 (Aug. 14). It remains to be seen if there will be even more shuffling as things go along. So many titles have already moved to the fall or dodged this year altogether. The report indicates that Cinemark thinks that people could start trickling back to theaters in early July. But, those are predictions and the reality could be very different. Well, only time will tell, but if you’re in Los Angeles or New York City it might not be necessary to pre-order your tickets just yet.

What is the first movie you’re going to go see when theaters re-open? Let us know in the comments!

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