Filmmakers are calling on Congress to help the theater industry, which is struggling immensely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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The National Association of Theatre 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.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for the unprecedented support from our industry partners and the talented and concerned members of the movie industry creative community,” said John Fithian, NATO president and CEO in a press release. “The value of their recognition of the unique importance of movie theaters to our communities, culture, and economy, and their support before Congress of the unique needs of movie theaters in this pandemic cannot be underestimated.”
The group stated that 93% of movie theater companies had 75% in losses in the second quarter of 2020. They claimed that if the trend continues, 69% of small and mid-sized movie theater companies will have to file for bankruptcy or close permanently, creating a loss of 66% in theater jobs.
“Our country cannot afford to lose the social, economic, and cultural value that theaters provide. The moviegoing experience is central to American life. 268 million people in North America went to the movies last year to laugh, cry, dream, and be moved together,” the letter reads in part. “Theaters are great unifiers where our nation’s most talented storytellers showcase their cinematic accomplishments. Every aspiring filmmaker, actor, and producer dreams of bringing their art to the silver screen, an irreplaceable experience that represents the pinnacle of filmmaking achievement.”
Movie theaters are indeed one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. Cinemark confirmed to FOX Business on Wednesday that it is evaluating reducing operating hours as well as days in light of the low turnout and lack of new releases.
Following the news that comic book tentpoles “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Black Widow” would be pushed back to Dec. 25, 2020, and May 2021 respectively, theaters find themselves in the uncomfortable position of not having a new release to market around until Nov. 20, when Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond in “No Time to Die” is finally expected to drop.
The recent letter imploring Congress for financial assistance was signed by the following people:
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Wes Anderson Judd Apatow Jon Avnet Sean Baker Noah Baumbach Michael Bay Susanne Bier Barbara Broccoli James Cameron Antonio Campos Damien Chazelle Jon M. Chu Sofia Coppola Alfonso Cuarón Lee Daniels Dean Devlin Clint Eastwood Andrew Erwin Jon Erwin Paul Feig Shana Feste Scott Frank Cary Joji Fukunaga Greta Gerwig Evan Goldberg Paul Greengrass Leslie Greif Luca Guadagnino Catherine Hardwicke Alma Har’el Albert Hughes Allen Hughes Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu Barry Jenkins Patty Jenkins Rian Johnson Miranda July Nicole Kassell Jon Landau Francis Lawrence Mimi Leder Ang Lee Rob Letterman Shawn Levy Richard Linklater James Mangold Sam Mendes Adam McKay Steve McQueen Ted Melfi Reed Morano Christopher Nolan David O. Russell Todd Phillips Guy Ritchie Seth Rogen Joachim Rønning Michael R. Roskam Martin Scorsese M. Night Shyamalan Zack Snyder Steven Soderbergh Joey Soloway David E. Talbert Betty Thomas Emma Thomas Liesl Tommy
Denis Villeneuve Taika Waititi James Wan Lulu Wang Chris Weitz Paul Weitz Michael G. Wilson Edgar Wright Joe Wright Cathy Yan David Yates