Written by: Nick Bessignano
Film has long been an integral staple of American culture. However during the pandemic studios and theaters are suffering financial losses. The industry is introducing various methods to counteract the situation including releasing content directly on-demand and shifting schedules months to even years back. With most theaters closed, cinephiles are eager to find a movie-going experience wherever it may be. But one question remains:
Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film Tenet will be the first blockbuster release this summer. The movie was supposed to arrive on July 17th, then July 31st and then August 12th. After the all the shuffling Warner Bros. removed it from its release schedule. Movies like The King of Staten Island and Palm Springs have found a home on streaming platforms. While upcoming blockbusters A Quiet Place Part II is holding out for a traditional release. John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, says “the old distribution models of big blockbusters need to be rethought.” Theaters still have fixed costs throughout this pandemic and haven’t received a dime of revenue. AMC Theaters doesn’t plan on opening until mid-to-late August. Its competitors Regal and Cinemark haven’t unveiled reopening plans yet.
Since movie theaters are still closed, drive-ins and other theater hybrids are seeing a rise in popularity. Walmart announced plans to transform 160 of their parking lots into drive-in theaters. The superstore is partnering with Robert De Niro’s media company, Tribeca Enterprises, to program the films. Some events are expected to feature special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities. The event will run through October and include more than 300 showings. Beyond Cinema is launching a series of “floating cinemas.” The makeshift theaters will include 12 to 24 mini boats that hold up to 8 people. The titles shown will be a mix of “golden oldies and new releases.” They expect to roll out into cities like Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Chicago.
With the ongoing delays moviegoers must longer wait until taking their seats for the big screen. A perk with theaters is that the auditoriums are much larger than a typical bar or restaurant. This leaves more room to manage social distancing and traffic flow. In addition, IMAX is requiring masks to be used by exhibition partners in North America. On July 28th Warner Bros. announced the international release of Tenet for August 26th and it will arrive in the US on September 3rd. We should be seeing Christopher Nolan’s next mind bending spectacle sooner than later.