With all the news today about the vast majority of US theaters closing for the foreseeable future and even more blockbusters missing their release dates due to coronavirus, it’s obvious that the theatrical release business is in for a world of hurt over the next six weeks or more. And to help quell any worries, the National Association of Theaters (NATO) has released a statement (via Deadline) to assure people that theaters will be open again, and when they do, it’ll be a great time to be a film fan.

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While the statement does cover everything about public health safety, delays, and the future, it also talks about one of the more surprising results of the COVID-19 pandemic, studios skipping the typical theatrical window and releasing films early on VOD, and in the case of “Trolls World Tour,” skipping that entirely and releasing it day-and-date on VOD and theaters. It seems as if this might be the one part of the whole crisis that is really worrisome to NATO.

“Although there has been speculation in the media that the temporary closure of theaters will lead to accelerated or exclusive releases of theatrical titles to home streaming, such speculation ignores the underlying financial logic of studio investment in theatrical titles,” said the statement. “To avoid catastrophic losses to the studios, these titles must have the fullest possible theatrical release around the world. While one or two releases may forgo theatrical release, it is our understanding from discussions with distributors that the vast majority of deferred releases will be rescheduled for theatrical release as life returns to normal.”

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The statement continued, “When those titles are rescheduled, they will make for an even fuller slate of offerings than normal as they are slotted into an already robust release schedule later in the year.”

It is obvious that NATO’s statement serves two main purposes: 1) Make sure people know that theaters are expecting to come back better than ever, with a “robust” schedule, considering all these delays will begin to stack up this fall. And 2) Don’t be fooled by these quick VOD releases, as these are only a crisis maneuver and not the way of the world moving forward.

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Obviously, in regards to the first point, there’s no denying that theaters will have a stacked schedule at the end of the year, but how much cannibalization will occur? That’s still unknown. And as far as the second issue, it’ll be interesting to see how many films do this early VOD method and how many will forgo a theatrical release and just land on Digital? If the public gets used to this sort of convenience, there could be an expectation moving forward.

This is an ever-evolving story that will have no easy answers and no real resolution until months from now. But it’s clear that NATO is worried and wants to assure us all that the world will be back to normal eventually.

You can read the full NATO statement below:

With the pandemic Coronavirus outbreak, the world is facing a difficult and trying time. As the virus takes hold in different regions at different times and in varying degrees of severity, people and public health officials are grappling with decisions about when to close public-facing businesses and when to restrict personal activity. As with other businesses that serve large groups of people, movie theaters have faced voluntary and mandated restrictions and closures. The majority of movie theaters have now closed. This industry will continue to meet its responsibilities to the public and will abide by public health mandates and adapt to local conditions.

Our partners in movie distribution have postponed major new releases in response to the Coronavirus situation in markets around the world. Other titles beyond the immediate horizon have not changed their release dates.

Although there has been speculation in the media that the temporary closure of theaters will lead to accelerated or exclusive releases of theatrical titles to home streaming, such speculation ignores the underlying financial logic of studio investment in theatrical titles. To avoid catastrophic losses to the studios, these titles must have the fullest possible theatrical release around the world. While one or two releases may forgo theatrical release, it is our understanding from discussions with distributors that the vast majority of deferred releases will be rescheduled for theatrical release as life returns to normal.

When those titles are rescheduled, they will make for an even fuller slate of offerings than normal as they are slotted into an already robust release schedule later in the year.

No one can precisely predict when public life will return to normal, but it will return. The social nature of human beings – the thing that exposes us to contagion, and that makes it so difficult to change behavior in response to pandemic threats – is also the thing that gives us confidence in the future. People will return to movie theaters because that is who people are. When they return they will rediscover a cutting edge, immersive entertainment experience that they have been forcefully reminded they cannot replicate at home. In the uncertain, difficult economy ahead, movie theaters will fill the role they always have in boom times and in recessions – the most popular, affordable entertainment available outside the home.

While movie theaters will suffer some financial harm in the near term, and many of their 150,000 employees will face personal hardship, when this crisis passes and people return to their hard-wired social nature, movie theaters will be there for them as they have always been, with a full slate of movies far into the future.