This just in. AMC will have 70% of its circuit open this weekend, counting 420 locations. This includes San Diego, CA following the state Governor Newsom’s reopening provisions last Friday. In total, 140 additional AMC theaters will reopen this weekend.
AMC’s stock was up 3% during the trading day but on the reopening news it’s now up 13% in after-hours trading; its highest level since February.
Distribution sources tell me that San Francisco, CA will likely be back online the weekend following Labor Day for the big chains.
Tenet previews started Monday, however, the pic officially opens Thursday. On Friday, AMC expects seven of its cinemas around San Diego, CA to reopen per local directives and all safety guidelines on auditorium capacity. Tenet is already open in Canada, and ranked No. 1 there this past weekend. Warners is rolling those figures into next weekend’s grosses.
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AMC expects to make announcements about additional markets in California, New Jersey and other areas of the country in the coming weeks, once theatres are authorized to open by state and local officials. I understand that the independent cinemas are apt to be open in New Jersey this coming weekend. Note the big chains as they reopen have to ensure that they have the proper staffing and supplies in place before they reopen; they can’t just rush into a reopening after they’re cleared by local governments. This occurs on a theater by theater basis. Some movie theaters have already been pre-training staff, cleaning and organizing supplies before their reopening.
When Los Angeles comes back for big exhibition is anyone’s guess according to distribution sources. The hope is either later this month, or by early October. This past weekend with only 62% of the marketplace open, Disney/20th’s New Mutants lead the weekend box office with a $7M opening. The hope is that the long-awaited Tenet can overly supercede that this coming weekend.
Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Theatres, commented today: “The first two weekends of operations have exceeded our expectations in terms of guests returning to the movies and in terms of their feedback about our extensive AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures. Our comprehensive commitment to operating our theatres safely now includes social distancing through limiting ticket sales and automatic seat blocking, seamless contactless ticketing, greatly enhanced cleaning procedures, the availability of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes throughout our theatres, as well as a mandatory mask policy for all guests and crew members. We’re also closely monitoring local and state guidance, and we are complying with any additional capacity restrictions. In addition, we have invested millions for high tech solutions to sanitization and disinfection including electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and MERV 13 air filters. Guests returning to AMC can do so knowing that we’ve been in constant dialogue with top scientists and experts in public health and cleaning about how best to reopen our theatres in ways that will be responsible and welcoming.”
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