The answer to the revival of theaters lies within the hands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Tinsel Town's other tentpole franchises; that is, of course, according to Hollywood legend Tom Hanks. In a recent chat with Collider, Hanks made sure to point out the fact he thinks the theater industry is far from dead, largely thanks in part to the guaranteed existence of blockbuster films from Marvel Studios and other similar outfits.
"A sea change was due, anyway... It was coming. Will movie theaters still exist? Absolutely, they will," the Forrest Gump star told the website. "In some ways, I think the exhibitors — once they're up and open — are going to have the freedom of choice of what movies they're going to play... Big event motion pictures are going to rule the day at the cinemas.
He added, "News of the World might be the last adult movie about people saying interesting things that's going to play on a big screen somewhere, because after this, in order to guarantee that people show up again, we're going to have the Marvel Universe and all sorts of franchises."
Virtually all theaters in America shut down at one point or another in 2020, and they've slowly been reopening as afforded by sizable studio releases. Even then, chains like Regal Cinemas have still opted to shutter their locations through the end of the year. Though the FDA has approved two separate COVID-19 vaccines, health officials don't anticipate a release of the vaccine to non-priority groups until May 2021 at the earliest. Following that timeline, it's not expected for the vaccine to produce herd immunity in those who've received both shots until the closing months of 2021.
Alas, Marvel Studios — and all other Hollywood studios, for that matter — will be ready to go once theaters are back open for good. Marvel alone currently has three blockbusters scheduled for release in 2021, and that's not including similar slates from Warner Brothers, Universal, and Sony.
The next Marvel project out is Disney+'s WandaVision, which is set for release on January 15th.
When's the earliest you think you'll go back to theaters? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!
Cover photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic