Just because Warner Bros. took Christopher Nolan’s Tenet temporarily off the release schedule doesn’t mean that the No. 1 theater chain isn’t going to reopen. AMC announced this morning that it planning to reopen its multiplexes beginning mid-to-late August instead of the previously announced date of July 30.
The chain didn’t go into details in its announcement this morning about which 450 U.S. theaters would be reopening and where. The chain was originally planning a phased weekend-by-weekend reopening approach. The release specified that a third of all AMC cinemas in Europe and the Middle East are already open and operating normally.
Warner Bros. announced on Monday that it won’t be rolling Tenet out in a typical everywhere global day-and-date fashion. The Nolan thriller will likely go first overseas in such markets as Asia and certain European markets where COVID-19 has quelled, and be released stateside in those states where it’s safe to reopen movie theaters (New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina are among those states that have not been given the proper approval to reopen).
“The new timing reflects currently expected release dates for much anticipated blockbusters like Warner Bros.’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan as well as release dates for several other new movies coming to AMC’s big screens,” read a statement from the Leawood, KS-based circuit.
To date, Disney hasn’t announced that Mulan would be shifting from its current Aug. 21 release date, and there’s speculation by a number of those in exhibition (and here by AMC) as well as rival studios that the movie won’t necessarily move, rather follow a course where it opens where it can around the country and the world.
AMC is implementing several safety COVID-19 protocols upon its reopening, such as the electro-static cleaning of seats and partnering with Clorox, details of which can be found here. When those guidelines were announced back on June 18, CEO Adam Aron told a rival trade outlet that he didn’t want to enforce the wearing of masks at AMC theaters in those areas of the U.S. which had eased such restrictions, because he didn’t want to make a political issue of it. There was an immediate social media backlash to his remarks, and Aron promptly changed course, creating a full circuit wide safety protocol that all AMC guests are now required to wear face masks.
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