June 29, 2020
As expected, AMC Theatres has pushed back re-opening 450 theaters in the United States from July 15 to July 30. The nation’s largest exhibitor had planned to jumpstart operations in about two weeks following a government-mandated shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But with Disney and Warner Bros. pushing back releases Mulan and Tenet, respectively, due to upticks in COVID-19 infections in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona, AMC decided to hold off.
CEO Adam Aron says the chain has invested tens of millions of dollars in sanitization protocols, including acquiring high-tech air purification systems for theaters.
“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,” Aron said in a previous statement.
Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter doubts moviegoers are in a rush to the cineplex without a vaccine.
“As we face a potential spike in cases nationwide after some seemingly premature re-opening schedules in addition to nationwide protests, we are less sanguine … that enough of the population will risk their health to support the current release slate schedule starting in July,” Pachter wrote.