Releases delayed again as US cinemas stay shut

As Covid-19 continues to rage in the US, forcing studios to continually revise their plans, cinema owners hope Europe holds the key to reopening

The Los Angeles Times reports that AMC, the world’s largest cinema owner, will remain closed for business while it waits for new films to be released.. In the UK, the doors are still locked at Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, which, in effect, means everywhere else, too.

Disney’s live-action Mulan and Christopher Nolan’s latest film for Warner Bros, Tenet have both been delayed again, this time “indefinitely”. AMC says it hopes to re-open cinemas by the end of August, though at least one analyst thinks it will be a month later, and it’s not clear what they will be showing when they do open their doors again.

Even when it is safe to go back to the cinema, Tenet for one is not going to follow any normal day-and-date release pattern and could be on screens outside North America first, to capitalise on the lifting of restrictions elsewhere while the US still battles the virus. In Europe, it is reported that around a third of cinemas are already open again.

Pandemic health and safety procedures and concerns aside, whose responsibility is it to get our cinemas open? If the studios delay, the cinemas have nothing to show. If cinemas won’t open up for business, the studios will continue to delay. What are the channels of communication like between the two camps? Answers on a postcard …

Updated 28 July

The Los Angeles Times brings us the news today that Tenet will be released in a number of countries including Britain, Canada, Denmark, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, South Korea and Sweden on 26 August. U.S. audiences will have to wait at least another week. The hope is that is will hit screens there over Labor Day weekend, starting 3 September.

The time-bending movie will be released in the U.S. “over Labor Day weekend in select cities,” the Burbank-based studio said in a statement. The U.S. release will begin Sept. 3. 

Image: Warner Bros.