After only a month of beginning to reopen where allowed, struggling movie theaters are reducing their hours of operation as Hollywood studios continue to delay tentpoles including Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow because of the ongoing pandemic.
With many theaters changing opening plans and reducing open hours, many employees continue to face lay offs, and hardship where no work is available. With both Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow pushed back, the next big draw to U.S. cinema’s will be the upcoming James Bond feature. James Bond No Time To Die isn’t set for release until November 20th in close release to Pixar’s Soul. As the industry stands right now, hopes are riding high that both films will restart the box office recovery.
Theaters reopened where they were allowed in time for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which debuted over Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, without New York and Los Angeles in play, the $200 million tentpole has struggled. Despite Los Angeles opening Tenet in Drive-Ins, so far the film has only grossed $41 million domestically through September 27th. Exhibitors had hoped that Tenet would be followed by Mulan, but the tentpole was sent straight to Disney+ at a premium price in the U.S. over the Labor Day frame. Mulan moving to Disney+ further impacted cinema chains on the verge of collapse, and other chains deeply struggling to stay afloat after immense changes to their practices for Covid-19 safety protocols.