With theater chains expected to reopen in the US at the end of July (that is, unless studios keep pushing their films back), the biggest question that remains is whether or not people are willing to venture back into the cinema. And if so, when will they decide it’s safe to do so? These are the questions that keep studio executives up at night, as they ponder when to release “Tenet” or “Mulan.” Well, according to a new poll, it appears that US citizens aren’t ready to rush back into theaters anytime soon.
THR has a new study where they polled a number of US citizens about when they’d feel comfortable coming back to movie theaters once they reopen. As of now, the big cinema chains such as AMC, Regal, and Cinemark are all expected to open their doors again by July 31. This is in preparation for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” arriving two weeks later, followed by “Mulan” the week after that.
However, the study says that people aren’t rushing back to cinemas right as they open. In fact, most will probably stay away from movie theaters until 2021. Only 15% of people are at least “somewhat likely” to visit cinemas immediately when they reopen. After a month, that number does tick up a little bit to 26%, but that’s still a far cry from the massive numbers that studios hope to see when they open $200 million films.
The most surprising number might be the fact that only 35% are at least “somewhat likely” to return to theaters anytime in 2020. That means the vast majority of the US population isn’t willing to risk a cinema trip until 2021. If this pans out and the numbers in this study are accurate, we could be seeing more films move into the next calendar year, as studios aren’t going to risk releasing high-profile features if no one will pay the money to watch them.
As of now, most theaters will reopen by July 31. That being said, there is a report that studios will re-evaluate their release dates for August and September over the weekend. So, there’s a chance we could see this delayed even more.