September 21, 2021


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Head of theater owners on ‘Tenet’ delays and reopening during coronavirus

6 min read

Movie theaters have been devastated by the coronavirus, as the epidemic has forced the closure of cinemas across the country and largely wiped out the summer blockbuster season.

Viewers had long hoped that Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan” would begin a revival. However, these plans took a big hit on Monday when Warner Bros. said it would push the debut of “Tenet” to a later date in 2020, while acknowledging the difficulty of distributing a tentpole film when the rate of COVID-19 infection spread. United States

John Fethian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners, a top lobbyist in the exhibition industry, said he was disappointed by the decision and called on studios to start releasing upcoming movies as planned.

He believes Hollywood needs to adopt a new norm: theaters will not be open in every country or region of the world until a vaccine is available. He believes it is safe to return to the cinema hall in many communities where coronavirus cases are declining or flattened. Phythian notes that theaters have introduced new protection protocols and cleaning methods, but if new releases can’t play, they can’t welcome back guests. With two interviews Different, Warner Bros., both before and after, had announced that it was delaying the “Tennit”, outlining the challenges facing the Pythian theater business and reiterating that he believed it was time to relaunch the Marquee Lights.

Warner Bros. announced today that “Tennit” will move away from its August 12 release date and will debut sometime in 2020. What is your reaction?

Distributors should keep their dates and release their movies as there is no guarantee of more market openings later this year. The market will not be 100% open until a vaccine is widely available. Due to which, films should be released in markets where they are safe and legal to release and this is about 85% of the market in the United States and more globally. They should release their movies and work on this new genre. Studios may not make the same amount of money as before, but they can have a big hole in their balance sheets if they don’t start distributing movies. It’s a $ 42 billion business a year. Most businesses take 85% of the time instead of zero, what if they wait for the market to open at all.

Did Warner Bros. leave you in the loop as to how to weigh yourself?

Absolutely. Warner Bros. and Disney [ed. note: Disney is releasing “Mulan”] Has been a great partner in sharing data and calling us to let us know their thoughts. At the same time, we have fully informed them of what we are seeing. I have great respect for the challenges they face in their own business model. I see it as a great partnership, but at the same time I think delaying these movies is a bigger mistake.

Will the “Tenet” delay have a domino effect and other theaters will remove their release date?

We still don’t know.

Will this prevent the big theater chains from reopening?

We don’t even know that.

Theater owners have personally complained that while spreading a lot of ink about the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix, they feel that the media is at the root of their failure. Do you think the media coverage is fair?

I think the coverage blended in with its fairness. First of all, our biggest concern was the level of risk associated with going to the theater. We have proven with science and by carefully establishing protocols that people can return to theaters safely. The media, however, prefers to cover more alarming news about the level of risk. They cite a Texas Medical Association chart that lists movie theaters as more risky than airlines. It’s not based on science, and it’s playing across the whole place, including the New York Times and national broadcast television. And when they covered the California shutdown, they talked about closing movie theaters without acknowledging that 10 movie theaters were open across the state.

The economic challenges we face are real. Without the extra support of Congress, theater companies and staff would be in a very, very bad position. And it’s not unique to movie theaters. There are lots and lots of businesses here that are fighting for survival.

What kind of federal assistance is needed for movie theaters?

When we started this war in March and April, everyone thought that these closures would cause economic pain, but they thought it would be done in early July. So we went to Congress and lobbied for loans and liquidity and to increase the unemployment of our 1.5 lakh workers. We were successful on the part of the unemployed and partially successful on the part of the. Because the Ns have never been fully implemented by the Fed and the Treasury. Both Congress and the administration have somewhat blocked this loan program. We are now lobbying for the next phase of the relief law, which Congress will begin considering this week. This includes better and additional enhanced benefits for pet employees and it is hoped that it will be easier to accept loans, so that it helps the theaters to survive financially.

Why did you join AMC, Regal and other chains to sue the state of New Jersey to force the governor to reopen?

Movie theaters across the country have spent a lot of time trying to make sure there are proper safety protocols. We found ways to reopen with distance, increased sanitation and other exercises. We have hired epidemiologists for consultation and we have worked with operational specialists.

We don’t want to reopen too soon or unsafely. We want to open at the same time as the organization located at exactly the same time. Although churches and places of worship are open in New Jersey, there are no movie theaters. That doesn’t make sense. Churches are more dangerous than movie theaters. People sing, talk, they hug each other, all the activities that can spread the virus. People sit in a movie theater and stare at a screen for two hours. Except for the moments when they are eating popcorn or sipping coke they are wearing masks so we have come up with a constitutional demand, and we believe we have a good case. We wanted a temporary control order, and it was not granted, but they are rare. But we should hear the case in a few days or weeks and we expect a good result. In New Jersey or New York or a few other states where theaters are closed, the rate of cavities is stable or they are running low.

Unlike bars that locally source their food or drink from specific distributors, we serve movies and films that are a national and global product. We can’t make money if the studios don’t release them. The epidemic is an existential threat to the industry. We should take new movies in theaters and we need to take these now. Theaters are open in most places and we are going to have problems if it goes out for too long. We don’t have four months of revenue, but we have fixed expenses like lease and insurance. When you have no fixed costs and no revenue, this is the problem.

You mentioned that restaurants and bars are open, but some public health experts believe that indoor food and drink increases the risk. Isn’t this an argument against the reopening of theaters?

People are getting sick in churches as we speak. Dozens of people have fallen ill after attending church services. We as a society have to face this problem. How do we get into medium-risk activities like going to the movies and eating out? Does society choose to stop everything until a vaccine is given? And however, bars can make any activity as risky as possible, because people drink heavily and they wear masks and close social distance. People in our theaters wear masks and are socially distant. Most of us are trying to find a balance where we can keep the right protocol to protect our patrons and our employees.

Will movie chains still be around them if they can’t reopen until they get a vaccine?

They will still be around, they will just be under completely separate ownership. Many will go bankrupt. Some will be restructured, others will be folded. I have no doubt that on the other hand the movies will be stronger than before and the cinemas will come back in bigger size than before. But if we can’t find a way to reopen, a lot of jobs will be lost and a lot of companies will leave.

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