The companies reiterated their commitment to staying open during the coronavirus pandemic after Cineworld, the second-largest chain in the U.S., announced over the weekend that it’s closing all of its Regal Cinemas locations in the United States due to a lack of new releases to market around as well as low turnout for the films that it can show.
However, the first and third theater giants in the U.S. reiterated their claims this week that they have no plans to follow suit.
AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement to the Associated Press that the company’s agreement with Universal Pictures to shorten the theatrical window, “puts AMC in a position where we can open our theatres when others may feel the need to close.”
AMC, Aron said, will share in home video on demand revenues with Universal.
Meanwhile, Cinemark told The Hollywood Reporter that it too is committed to staying open, even with a dearth of new releases on the horizon for the remainder of 2020.
"Cinemark's reopening plan was designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to this ever-changing environment," reads a statement provided to the outlet. "We do not currently have plans to close our U.S. theatres and are continuing to align with demand, including reducing operating hours and days while we await new studio content to encourage theatrical moviegoing.”
However, that isn’t to say that it’s anywhere close to business as usual for either company. Both AMC and Cinemark have reduced their operating hours at many locations and THR notes that analysts expect further cuts as the year continues.
The situation is so dire for theaters in the United States, where the pandemic has been particularly pervasive, The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) along with the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) joined forces to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to get involved with saving the theater industry.
Prominent industry leaders such as Clint Eastwood, James Cameron, Michael Bay, Patty Jenkins, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Zack Snyder and Seth Rogen were among the dozens of filmmakers, writers and producers who signed a letter lending their names to the cause. Together, they hope to convince Congress to launch a bipartisan effort to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to help theater owners impacted by shutdowns due to the coronavirus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.