AMC Theatres, the world’s largest exhibitor, has announced phased-in reopening plans with an opening day of August 20. Initial opening expectations are 115 locations, with about 400 of their 600 total domestic locations available for when “Tenet” opens September 3. That would represent about 67 percent of their complexes.
That limited availability likely is a disappointment for “Unhinged” with Russell Crowe, which pegged its delayed release to two weeks ahead of “Tenet” and has been a leader in showing in reopened territories in recent weeks. It’s earned a modest $3 million so far in overseas dates. It also bodes less well for the other wide release, Roadside Attractions’ “Words on Bathroom Walls.”
The missing theaters for the “Tenet” date appear to be centered in California, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, and possibly Arizona, none of which are listed for August 21. An AMC spokesman says that the company expects to open nearly all the locations they can.
The company also announced an August 20 promotion with a price of 15 cents (plus sales tax), the cost of a ticket 100 years ago when the initial Kansas City, MO single-screen theater opened in 1915. Then, parallel to the regularly priced first-run films, AMC will be offering older titles including the reissue of “Inception” for $5, including recently revived titles like “Black Panther” and “Ghostbusters.” They also are offering $5 concession packages that will remain in effect through October. Through the same period, AMC Stubs members will receive double points for ticket and food purchases.
In between August 21 and “Tenet,” AMC will also play Disney’s long-gestating “The New Mutants,” which was a pre-merger 20th Century Fox release, on August 28.
“We are thrilled to once again open our doors to American moviegoers who are looking for an opportunity to get out of their houses and apartments and escape into the magic of the movies,” said Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Theatres. “As our guests return on our first day of resumed operations on August 20, we invite them to join us in celebrating a return to the movies, and in celebrating 100 years of AMC making smiles happen with movies at 1920 prices of only 15 cents each.”
Their statement also included an update summary of their safety and social distancing plans. AMC initially faced intense backlash in June, when it announced that masks would optional for guests. Masks are now mandatory at AMC theaters. The full safety details follow:
Upon returning to the movies, AMC guests can expect to experience AMC’s comprehensive health and sanitation program: AMC Safe & Clean, which was developed under advisement of current & former faculty of Harvard University’s prestigious School of Public Health as well as the No. 1 U.S. cleaning brand, The Clorox Company.
AMC Safe & Clean components include significant reductions in the maximum tickets available for each showtime and seat blocking in reserved seating auditoriums to allow for appropriate social distancing between parties, enhanced cleaning procedures that include extra time between showtimes to allow for a full, thorough cleaning and nightly disinfecting utilizing electrostatic sprayers, use of high tech HEPA vacuums, upgraded air filtration efforts including the use of MERV 13 filters wherever possible, new guest and associate safety protocols that include mandatory mask wearing by all guests and associates, hand sanitizing stations throughout the theatre and the availability to guests of disinfectant wipes. The entire AMC Safe & Clean plan can be found at amctheatres.com/amc-safe-and-clean.