Lights, camera...action? As American cities begin to reopen after COVID-19 closures, companies that were faltering can finally start making back some lost revenue.
AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), the largest movie theater operator in the world, said in a press release on Tuesday that it planned to have almost all of its theaters open by July. This is ahead of its original schedule, which envisioned opening for the Fall film season, and is a positive development for the company, which wasn't sure it would make it until then and stay solvent.
Positioned for showtime
The company said that it planned to open theaters in its largest markets, the U.S. and the U.K., in time to show two films slated for July Release: Warner Bros.' Tenet on July 17 and Disney's Mulan on July 24.
AMC specified at least 12 other films that will be released before the end of 2020, not including movies produced by Comcast's Universal, which it is still in dialogue with.
The company has already opened some theaters in Europe, and CEO Adam Aron said in a conference call that in Norway, 83% of available ticket were sold, with concession sales matching the previous year.
Even if theaters open and there are films to show, it's not clear if customers will queue up. AMC said that it will implement stringent cleaning protocols to ensure theater hygiene, including cleanings between film showings, limiting seating capacity, and using blocked seating. It's also looking into industrial cleaning options, such as electrostatic sprayers and HEPA vacuums. To raise it to the next level, it's looking to establish partnerships with Clorox and Harvard School of Public Health faculty to find the most cutting edge solutions for keeping theaters safe and clean.