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NATO Predicts 90% Of Global Theaters will Be Open By Mid July


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No, not THAT NATO... The National Association of Theater Owners

 

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Maybe it's a good thing that Christopher Nolan's TENET stood its ground. As many major releases were pulled or rescheduled as theaters shuttered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. has kept TENET planted on its July 17 release date. It was looking dire that theaters wouldn't be open in time for Warner Bros. to justify maintaining the $200 million film's release date but after Cinemark unveiled its opening plan set to begin June 19, NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) now expects 90% of the global theatrical marketplace to be open by mid-July.

 

The figure comes courtesy of the "Business Insider", which cites a representative of NATO. The National Association of Theatre Owners is an organization that represents movie theaters across America but what remains unclear is what the other 10% might represent. The hope is that 10% does not represent major theaters in cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco or Chicago because these are the cities that drive much of the box office in the States. Warner Bros. has stated that they need at least 80% of the theaters in the U.S. to be open for it to make financial sense to release TENET in July and not delay the film and those major cities need to be in that equation as well. 

 

The other caveat here is, even if enough theaters do open in time, there is the issue of capacity. Theaters will be operating at limited capacity, most likely 50% or less than what they normally hold. This will also hurt box office potential for TENET, although I suspect there will be a lot more showings given there will be no competition in the marketplace. TENET could be more of a slow burn with legs in the weeks after its release rather than a hit right out of the gate. Is that good enough for Warner Bros.? Would that give them the return on investment they desire?

 

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi mentioned during his call about the reopening of their theater chain that he has been in frequent talks with Warner Bros. and they're optimistic about keeping the original date. Zoradi expected an announcement, either way, very soon considering before you know it the film will be a month away from its release. Warner Bros. has to decide to put more marketing spend into its current date or a new one. There is whispering out there that the studio will delay the film and the issue is where on the calendar could they release it? Warner Bros. is playing a high-risk game of chicken with TENET, no doubt led by Christopher Nolan who wants his film to be the movie that gets out butts back in the seats in the wake of this global pandemic. NATO's new numbers are very encouraging and if major cities fall in that 90% of theaters that will be open by mid-July, it could be a game that Nolan and Warner Bros. will win in the end.

 

I can't see it but what do I know?

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Two spikes in the Covid race are being predicted as coming from the medical world - one because of the upcoming stay at home orders ending in a couple of states this month, and the other coming from the protests and looting that's been happening all across the country. Movie chains think people are all gung-ho to see a movie in theaters, without much talk of the spread of the virus possibly being that much worse in the long run.

 

If Tenet is worth the risk, I just hope people stay safe and keep others safe by getting tested immediately.

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1 hour ago, Amazatron said:

The last movie I saw in the theaters was Impractical Jokers, so there's no way in hell I'm letting that be the last movie I see in a theater this year. I will fight you COVID-19...

 

The last one I saw was The Last Jedi and before that Guardians of the Galaxy 1.

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9 hours ago, silentbob said:

I say give it 2 weeks and see if anything spikes from the BLM protests. If not, sure try reopening but I doubt we will see any huge Box Office returns for sometime 

If? I'd say when... We're already seeing the spikes from memorial day and early reopenings. These protests will likely set off a second wave. I hope I'm wrong, but I really don't see how they couldn't unless weather really is a huge factor in mitigating transmission. Along with the fact that people wore masks and they were out doors.

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8 hours ago, Remarkableriots said:

I won't be going to a movie theater this year and probably not next year.

I'm not as adamant as I was a few weeks ago, but it does seem unlikely that I'll be going to any theaters this year to be honest. I just don't see how I could justify the risk to myself and the people around me.

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9 hours ago, sblfilms said:

I actually do find the aversion to going to the theater a bit strange, especially with capacity limitations. Doesn’t seem to fit the MO of risky behavior for spread at this point.

Although they don't call out going to the movies specifically, which is weird to be honest, 511 epidemiologists disagree with you 64% of those asked said they would wait a year or more before personally going to a concert, play or sporting event (which I would include going to the movies)

 

 

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Some said they would refrain from nearly all of the 20 activities until a vaccine for the virus had been widely distributed. Others said they would wait for a vaccine to do the indoor activities on the list.

“As much as I hate working at home, I think that working in a shared indoor space is the most dangerous thing we do,” said Sally Picciotto of the University of California, Berkeley, one of the 18 percent of respondents who said they expected to wait at least a year before returning to the office.

 

 

This is an important caveat.

 

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Their answers are not guidelines for the public, and incorporate respondents’ individual life circumstances, risk tolerance and expectations about when there will be widespread testing, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination for Covid-19. They said it’s these things that will determine their actions, because the virus sets the timeline. “The answers have nothing to do with calendar time,” said Kristi McClamroch of the University at Albany.

Still, as policymakers lift restrictions and protests break out nationwide over police brutality, epidemiologists must make their own decisions about what they will do, despite the uncertainty — just like everyone else. They are more likely, though, to be immersed in the data about Covid-19 and have training on the dynamics of infectious disease and how to think about risk.

 

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Epidemiologists say they are making decisions based on publicly available data for their region on things like infections and testing. Before choosing whether to do an activity, they might evaluate whether people are wearing masks, whether physical distancing is possible and whether there are alternative ways to do it. Because there is a chance of a second wave of infections, they say they may become less comfortable with certain activities over time, not more

 

That said:

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They mostly agreed that outdoor activities and small groups were safer than being indoors or in a crowd, and that masks would be necessary for a long time.

 

And this was an interesting tidbit.

 

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Surveys of ordinary Americans show that many people without epidemiology training also think it will be months or longer before many common activities can become routine again. A recent survey from Morning Consult found that more than a quarter of Americans would not visit a shopping mall for more than six months, and around a third would not go to a gym, movie or concert.

 

So... yeah.

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I have a Stein Mart, Hobby Lobby, and Marshalls store all side by side in a shopping center in my area. I'm not sure if all the stores were open when I drove by over the weekend, but people were standing in the biggest line I've ever seen. It was half the length of the shopping center plus wrapped around the side of the building. I assume the stores are limiting how many people can be in the store at once. 

If that's going to be the new normal for the next month or two, I'm still not going to set foot in many stores. 

I've driven by some fast food places where the drive thrus are lined around the building out to the main roads. Definitely don't have time for that. 

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8 minutes ago, DarkStar189 said:

I've driven by some fast food places where the drive thrus are lined around the building out to the main roads. Definitely don't have time for that. 

 

That's why you go there at night. Between 8 - 9 is the sweet spot but they seem to get pretty long after 10pm for some reason.

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42 minutes ago, DarkStar189 said:

I've driven by some fast food places where the drive thrus are lined around the building out to the main roads. Definitely don't have time for that. 

 

My mom wanted some Krispy Kremes for mother's day... I drove over there and saw a line of cars backed up out of the parking lot onto the highway, slowing down traffic. I was like  Eff dat.

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5 hours ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Although they don't call out going to the movies specifically, which is weird to be honest, 511 epidemiologists disagree with you 64% of those asked said they would wait a year or more before personally going to a concert, play or sporting event (which I would include going to the movies)

 

 

 

 

This is an important caveat.

 

 

 

That said:

 

And this was an interesting tidbit.

 

 

So... yeah.


95% of movie showtimes in a given year are already below 25% occupancy. They aren’t crowded like other gatherings because there are many showings of the same film over and over 7 days a week.

 

The three activities that you lumped in with movies have much higher average occupancy rates, which is what makes them worse in terms of transmission.

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12 minutes ago, sblfilms said:


95% of movie showtimes in a given year are already below 25% occupancy. They aren’t crowded like other gatherings because there are many showings of the same film over and over 7 days a week.

 

The three activities that you lumped in with movies have much higher average occupancy rates, which is what makes them worse in terms of transmission.

you and I both know that those less than 25% capacity screenings are because most people tend to go to the movies around the same time... evenings and weekends. I myself will try and go see a film during the week, early when I want to see it in a less crowded theater, but in NY and LA, dozens of people often have the same idea as me. It's very rare in those cities to go see a popular film in an empty theater. At least at the theaters I tend to go to.  Also, this:

 

6 hours ago, skillzdadirecta said:

They mostly agreed that outdoor activities and small groups were safer than being indoors OR in a crowd, and that masks would be necessary for a long time.

 So while sporting events, plays and concerts may be MORE risky than going to the movies, going to the movies is STILL risky.

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32 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

you and I both know that those less than 25% capacity screenings are because most people tend to go to the movies around the same time... evenings and weekends. I myself will try and go see a film during the week, early when I want to see it in a less crowded theater, but in NY and LA, dozens of people often have the same idea as me. It's very rare in those cities to go see a popular film in an empty theater. At least at the theaters I tend to go to.  Also, this:

 

 So while sporting events, plays and concerts may be MORE risky than going to the movies, going to the movies is STILL risky.

You pondered why movies weren’t lumped in when you lumped them in, that is why :p

 

And indeed, indoor activities are generally more risky than outdoor activities. But the actual risk matters more than the relative risk, and the relative risk of going to a movie theater and catching Covid is quite low for the vast majority of movie showtimes. It’s incredibly easy to avoid risky situations in regards to going to a movie theater, particularly in the age of reserved seating. 
 

Going to the theater is not itself particularly risky, going into a crowded auditorium is.

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My personal moving going habits will be very different this year. I had (have?) an A-List membership, so I went fairly often, between 2-5 times a month. I don't see myself returning with that kind of frequency, especially given the slow pace of releases. While Tenet is exactly the kind of movie that I'd have seen ASAP on the biggest screen possible, now I'll probably wait for a while, and see it at a low demand time.

 

When it comes to the industry as a whole, I do have to wonder how profitable a theater can be with social distancing restrictions on it. As long as they're not a threat to public health, even if I'm not going as often I'd be happy to see theaters re-open and I hope they can survive this downturn.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

When it comes to the industry as a whole, I do have to wonder how profitable a theater can be with social distancing restrictions on it. As long as they're not a threat to public health, even if I'm not going as often I'd be happy to see theaters re-open and I hope they can survive this downturn.


It is tough to see how cinemas can be financially viable without other changes to viewing behavior if capacities will stay limited. You need a lot more people going Monday-Thursday if you can’t be selling out shows on Friday and Saturday.

 

One other thing that people may not realize is that the industry in the US got rid of nearly 30% of total seating capacity over the last five years with all the reseating they did going to recliners and loungers from standard rocker seats. Those seats would come in handy now :lol:

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23 hours ago, TheLeon said:

I come into close contact with way more people during my weekly trip to the grocery store than I do on my average trip to the movies. If Tenet really does open up theaters next month, I’ll be there. 

Exactly this as well as my job in a social residential setting, I have been nothing BUT exposed to numerous people for the duration of all of this. IF Tenet opens next month in its original slot, I will absolutely be there opening weekend!

 

*EDIT* Also, the last flick I saw was Bad Boys 3 (STILL the #1 box office hit of the year! :lol:)

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5 hours ago, sblfilms said:

You pondered why movies weren’t lumped in when you lumped them in, that is why :p

 

And indeed, indoor activities are generally more risky than outdoor activities. But the actual risk matters more than the relative risk, and the relative risk of going to a movie theater and catching Covid is quite low for the vast majority of movie showtimes. It’s incredibly easy to avoid risky situations in regards to going to a movie theater, particularly in the age of reserved seating. 
 

Going to the theater is not itself particularly risky, going into a crowded auditorium is.


Motherfucker I got a job and shit to do, it ain’t so fucking easy to pop down to watch Tenet on a Tuesday and line your pockets by buying a $4 Diet Mt Dew. 

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58 minutes ago, Chris- said:


Motherfucker I got a job and shit to do, it ain’t so fucking easy to pop down to watch Tenet on a Tuesday and line your pockets by buying a $4 Diet Mt Dew. 

You should be a square like me that works weekends and evenings, so Tuesday/Wednesday matinees are just about my only option. 

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8 hours ago, sblfilms said:


It is tough to see how cinemas can be financially viable without other changes to viewing behavior if capacities will stay limited. You need a lot more people going Monday-Thursday if you can’t be selling out shows on Friday and Saturday.

 

One other thing that people may not realize is that the industry in the US got rid of nearly 30% of total seating capacity over the last five years with all the reseating they did going to recliners and loungers from standard rocker seats. Those seats would come in handy now :lol:

All theaters should get those recliners instead of those uncomfortable standard rocker seats. Those recliners are also better spaced out which is a good idea during a pandemic.

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15 hours ago, sblfilms said:

You pondered why movies weren’t lumped in when you lumped them in, that is why

Actually I was wondering why movies weren't included ANYWHERE on the list of activities they asked about which seems like a major oversight, but isn't really surprising given the quality of the New York Times' reporting these days. I did lump in movies with concerts, sporting events and plays which I admit are probably more risky than going to the movies. But going to the movie during a pandemic is risky as well... probably around as risky as going to a restaurant depending on how many people are in the theater. But yeah, it's weird to me that going to the movies is nowhere to be found on this list, even among activities they said they would likely be doing soon.

 

Here is the complete list for folks wondering what the hell we're talking about.

 

When epidemiologists said they expect to do these activities in their personal lives, assuming the pandemic and response unfold as they expect

Activities they said they might start doing soon

  THIS SUMMER 3 TO 12 MOS. 1 YR.+ NEVER AGAIN
Bring in mail without precautions (n = 379) 64 16 17 3
See a doctor for a nonurgent appointment (507) 60 29 11 <1
Vacation overnight within driving distance (372) 56 26 18 <1
Get a haircut at a salon or barber shop (485) 41 39 19 1

Later in the next year

  THIS SUMMER 3 TO 12 MOS. 1 YR.+ NEVER AGAIN
Attend a small dinner party (n = 509) 32 46 21 <1
Hike or picnic outdoors with friends (506) 31 41 27 <1
Send kids to school, camp or day care (304) 30 55 15 <1
Work in a shared office (434) 27 54 18 1
Send children on play dates (272) 23 47 29 1
Ride a subway or a bus (408) 20 40 39 1
Visit elderly relative or friend in their home (485) 20 41 39 <1
Travel by airplane (512) 20 44 37 <1
Eat at a dine-in restaurant (506) 16 56 28 <1
Exercise at a gym or fitness studio (406) 14 42 40 4

Maybe a year or more

  THIS SUMMER 3 TO 12 MOS. 1 YR.+ NEVER AGAIN
Attend a wedding or a funeral (n = 501) 17 41 42 <1
Hug or shake hands when greeting a friend (503) 14 39 42 6
Go out with someone you don't know well (363) 14 42 42 2
Attend a church or other religious service (220) 13 43 43 2
Stop routinely wearing a face covering (513) 7 40 52 1
Attend a sporting event, concert or play (489) 3 32 64 1
Largest values in each group are highlighted. Figures are rounded.
 
 
 
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Despite being given the greenlight, most California theaters will NOT open.

 

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Despite Monday’s good news for the exhibition industry from the California Department of Public Health that the state’s movie theaters can reopen as early as Friday, we’re hearing that many notable chains won’t. That said, we understand that some independently owned cinemas could throw their doors open again. This has been par for the course for several theaters in states like Georgia and Texas which have eased their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in recent weeks.

 

Some of the prime reasons to remain shuttered include lack of marquee fare, which doesn’t ramp up until Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe movie Unhinged on July 1 followed by Warner Bros’ $200M Christopher Nolan movie Tenet on July 17. But movie theaters also need time to prep — i.e., restock concessions and bulk up on safety supplies like face masks, seat covers, anti-bacterial lotions and wipes. A late-June/early-July start for many is still in the cards. In addition, many theaters have paused their leases with landlords.

 

Also, while a 30%-50% capacity auditorium level is doable financially for most theater owners, a 25% cap is stretching it for some.

Chains in California we hear aren’t reopening Friday include AMC, Regal, Cinemark (which has outlined a three-phase approach beginning June 19 in Dallas), Alamo Drafthouse, Arclight Cinemas, Laemmle, Cinepolis and Landmark.

 

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