The Senate passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package late Wednesday night that is intended to help American workers and businesses that have taken a hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among those badly affected businesses are movie theaters, which for the first time in the history of Hollywood, have shut down en masse across the country. Theater owners joined the praise for the relief package, which still has to go through the House, saying in a statement that the legislation could help the country’s struggling cineplexes as the pandemic wears on. But how much of that $2 trillion package will actually go to movie theaters?
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Things continue to be quite dire for the movie theater industry. Last week, AMC Theatres shut down all of its U.S. and Canadian locations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now there’s word the company has furloughed more than 600 corporate employees, including its CEO. The good news: all furloughed corporate employees will retain active employment status, which includes health benefits. The bad news: employees have reduced working hours and reduced pay – or in some cases no hours and no pay.
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This Monday, the U.S. box office saw its worst weekend in the 22-year history that exhibitors had been recording box office numbers. And it looks like things will only get worse, as the escalating coronavirus pandemic closes more businesses and movie theaters. With all the major movie theaters closing their locations across the U.S., a mere 20% of theaters remaining open in the country, and studios delaying most of their major releases amid coronavirus concerns, studios could lose as much as $2 billion.
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As concerns over the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) continue to spread, movie theaters are taking note. Last week, AMC Theatres announced they were limiting capacity by 50%. But now AMC is taking things even further. Instead of 50%, they’re capping occupancy to 50 people max. This news comes on the heels of reports that AMC might be facing a liquidity crunch so bad that they might be forced to sell off assets.
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Update: Regal Cinemas is following in AMC’s footsteps, announcing that they have “reduced auditorium capacity by 50% and are complying, where applicable, with state mandates on social gathering limits.” Our original article continues.
In lieu of shutting down completely, AMC Theatres, the country’s largest theater chain, has announced a new policy to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (aka COVID-19). Starting tomorrow, March 14, 2020, the chain will be implementing social distancing measures which involve cutting auditorium capacities by at least half.
Meanwhile, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles has suspended screenings at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre and Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre. Get the details below. Read More »
Another year, another battle between Netflix and movie theater chains over a possible awards contender getting a wide theatrical release. Last year, it was Roma that didn’t play in any major theater chains due to Netflix’s desire to get the film on streaming as soon as possible but still meet the desires of director Alfonso Cuarón, who wanted his movie to play on the big screen. This year, it’s Martin Scorsese and his return to mob drama with The Irishman that’s creating a stir between Netflix and movie theater chains. Read More »
This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Matrix, one of the most innovative and inflluential films of the 20th century. In honor of the film’s milestone anniversary, AMC Theatres is bringing the blockbuster back to theaters for one week only starting at the end of August, and it will be in one of their finest formats. Read More »
As superhero blockbusters dominate one half of the movie industry and Disney the other half, there leaves no room for the small independent films. But while online we can only opine the meager box office numbers of Booksmart, AMC Theatres is doing something about it. AMC Theatres, the world’s largest exhibitor, is launching a new marketing and programming initiative called AMC Artisan Films that will boost smaller films and hopefully get more people in the the theaters to see mid-budget, critically acclaimed hits like Late Night instead of Avengers: Endgame for the 50th time.
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Last summer, AMC Theatres introduced its AMC Stubs A-List subscription service for movie tickets. On a recent corporate earnings call, the company’s CEO laid out a plan to improve that service for its users, specifically highlighting how they’ll be opening it up to users too young to obtain a driver’s license.
But it’s not all good news. The theater chain is also raising the prices of screenings that fall on its “discount Tuesday” from $5 up to $7 in some markets. Read about the new changes at AMC below. Read More »
The box office frenzy for Avengers: Endgame begins in just two days with the first sneak preview screenings beginning at 6:00 P.M. (local time) in theaters everywhere. When tickets went on sale, the demand was so high that ticketing websites had extensive waits and some theater sites even crashed. But when it comes to making sure anyone and everyone can see Avengers: Endgame as soon as possible, one theater chain has fans covered.
AMC Theatres will be keeping some of their most popular locations open for 72 hours straight in order to give fans the maximum amount of opportunities to see Avengers: Endgame. That means some screenings will be happening overnight Thursday into Friday, in the early hours of the morning, and that’s before the weekend even begins. Find out more about the extensive Avengers Endgame showtimes below. Read More »