Top Movie Theater Organization Makes A Bold Prediction About Multiplexes Opening

Hugo characters back in movie theaters

We all want movie theaters to be open again. Well, most of the people reading this site probably want to see a movie in a theater again, and soon. But it’s important to make sure that the environment is safe, and our health concerns are being met. Still, with normal business ramping back up, and huge organizations like the NBA implementing plans to restage their games, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) just claimed that they expect the world’s cinemas to be open in July.

You hear that, Christopher Nolan?

Business Insider reports that a NATO rep estimates that 90% of the world’s theaters will be open by the time that Nolan’s time-twisty spy thriller Tenet is ready to screen. Warner Bros. has held on to its originally stated July 17 release date, with rumors swirling that Nolan was very interested in being the filmmaker who lured audiences back to theaters following this delay.

Christopher Nolan adamantly defends the theater-going experience. From Dunkirk to Inception to his Batman trilogy, Nolan makes movies that demand the big-screen treatment. And Tenet expects to be equally ambitious, on the visual and storytelling levels. Just look at the most recent trailer, and tell me you don’t want to see that on an IMAX screen, post haste:

You might not have noticed this, but the Tenet trailer lacks an important component: a release date. There’s a heavy emphasis on the fact that this movie is coming to theaters. Christopher Nolan will move mountains to make sure that happens. But when? Will that July 17 date hold?

NATO representatives certainly believe so. In the Business Insider piece, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi is quoted as saying, during an earnings call:

We've been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive as well as Christopher Nolan about the July 17 opening. Of course, it depends on the continued positive movement due to the decline of COVID-19 and government restrictions being reduced.

What happens next? Cinemark states that it plans to open select locations on June 19 for a test phase, with the bulk of its locations opening the following weekend. The executives who commented on the article note that movie theaters will not be able to return to the way that they used to operate, but that modifications can be made to still accommodate the demands of patrons.

In order to serve the public, movie theaters need movies. And allegedly, they are coming. Even after Tenet, Disney has held the July 24 weekend for Mulan (which already did its promotions), while Warner Bros. also has Wonder Woman 1984 on its radar for August 14.

Our current world seems to change by the hour, so all of this can go down the drain, immediately. But for now, this appears to be the plan for opening movie theaters. Are you on board?

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Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.