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AMC theaters won't reopen in next two months, waiting for July blockbusters like Tenet, Mulan

By Benjamin Bullard
Mulan poster

When news arrived last week that some states could soon begin allowing movie theaters to fire up their projectors once again, one of the big questions on fans’ minds may have been what kind of movies would even be available to watch.

With theaters closed and new releases postponed across the board, theaters that do elect to reopen may have to get creative by re-showing older films. But for AMC Theatres and its more than 6,300 nationwide locations, that’s now a moot point. THR reports that AMC doesn’t plan to reopen any of its theaters until there’s brand-new movie content to entice fans.

Late last month, AMC tentatively indicated it was hoping for a restart plan that would've seen theater doors open no later than mid-June. With the coronavirus pandemic running its course on its own schedule, though, and with nothing new from movie studios until July at the earliest, that target has been bumped by at least a month, so long as studios are able to stay the course with their currently scheduled release dates.

In announcing its plans, AMC specifically cited Tenet and Mulan, two big titles that were already getting plenty of buzz before the pandemic prompted all the production halts and theater closures. Assuming neither is delayed in the future, those two films are the earliest major movies to appear on the upcoming big-screen calendar, and they both have release dates in July.

Affirming the safety of viewers and staff as the “absolute highest priority,” AMC said it will “need a line of sight into a regular schedule of new theatrical blockbusters that get people truly excited about returning to their favorite movie theaters,” via THR’s report. “Those blockbusters are scheduled to return this summer, beginning with Warner Brothers’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan, with many more major titles scheduled immediately thereafter.”

Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s super-mysterious action thriller with a time-traveling twist, already had been slated to release on July 17, and so far hasn’t seen any delays in those long-established plans. Disney originally had planned to release Mulan on March 27, but announced with only days to spare that it would hold off on the hugely hyped live-action remake.

Mulan’s new release date falls on July 24, making both Tenet and Mulan potential back-to-back weekend box-office blockbusters … if, that is, the pandemic doesn’t throw up future roadblocks to the big-screen hopes of studios and fans alike.