Stop me if you have heard this one before. Hollywood’s return to normalcy in the growing spread of a global pandemic has taken another step backwards. Now that major movies like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Niki Caro’s Mulan have delayed their openings until August, AMC Theatres revealed it no longer will aim to open on July 15, and has now circled July 30 as its next target.
In a statement obtained by Deadline, the Kansas City-based company claimed:
We continue to devote extraordinary resources into our plan to operate our theatres with a hyper commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates, notably in the United States through our new AMC Safe & Clean initiative. Our theatre general managers across the U.S. started working full time again today and are back in their theatres gearing up to get their buildings fully ready just a few weeks from now for moviegoers. That happy day, when we can welcome guests back into most of our U.S. theatres, will be Thursday, July 30.
Seeing as how there will not be any new significant movies opening in theaters until Christopher Nolan attempts to jump-start the industry with Tenet on August 12, this theoretically give AMC more time to nail down its process for welcoming guests back to theaters so the industry can work back into a groove in the safest and smartest way possible.
This now means that Warner Bros.’ planned release of Inception, celebrating that film’s anniversary, will occur on July 31. But this falls in line with the steady shift backwards on major, anticipated releases. And it’s not just the big two of Tenet and Mulan – though they have been the lead dogs on the Hollywood sled for months now.
Bill and Ted Face the Music recently shifted its release date back to August 28. That means it will compete against The New Mutants, LOL, which hasn’t changed its release date in quite some time.
After that, things get a little dicey. Paramount has been sitting on the September 4 date for A Quiet Place II for a long time now, and it hasn’t felt the need to shift. If it did bounce, it would jump way back, as when Wonder Woman 1984 abandoned August and landed in October.
The bottom line is that the landscape is shifting daily. Do we hope that AMC Theatres is able to open for business on July 30, and begin showing retro movies as they ramp up for mid-August blockbusters? Absolutely. But nothing this year has bene set in stone, and delays have been par for the course in every aspect of our lives, so until we see what actually happens, keep your schedules open, and written in pencil.