AMC CEO Says Consumers Will Be Back In Theaters In Mid-June

Movie theaters will hopefully be open by June, says AMC CEO

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, said in an interview with CNBC that he hopes people will be buying popcorn and seated in its theaters by mid-June.

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Aron said he knew it was unclear exactly what the path forward would look like for reopening movie theaters — of which AMC is the nation's largest chain — but he said he thinks people will be eager to return once it is safe to do so.

Currently, the coronavirus has necessitated that public spaces, like theaters, concert venues, restaurants and bars, stay shuttered to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Aron said the summer, when many companies are looking at tentatively reopening their doors, is one of the biggest seasons for the movies most years.

AMC originally forecasted a closure of six to 12 weeks, which would put its reopening around the end of May or sometime in June.

AMC shares have fallen by 54 percent this year thus far. But on Tuesday (March 31) they were up 4 percent.

The closures of movie theaters because of the virus has also shaken up movie release schedules. Warner Bros. has pushed back the release of "Wonder Woman: 1984" to August, and Universal has pushed "F9" to 2021. Disney's "Mulan" and "Black Widow" don't have new dates set yet.

Universal's "Trolls World Tour" and Paramount Pictures' "The Lovebirds" have gone to on-demand services rather than waiting for theaters to reopen, and many films that were in theaters at the time of the closures also switched to on demand.

The shift may have come from the viral spread, but it could become the norm for cinema and movies to focus on digital streaming in the future, making movies available to watch at home much sooner than they used to be.

On the other hand, the past is making a return with the rejuvenation of drive-in theaters after years out of style. Some holdouts of the old form of moviegoing, once a staple of American life that diminished greatly in the past few decades, have seen an increase in interest as social distancing mandates people not get too close to one another to avoid infection.



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