New York City, the country’s leading film market along with still-closed Los Angeles, comes back to life on Friday after being crushed by Covid-19 for nearly a year.
A pulse was detected in advance ticket sales with a handful of shows selling out at AMC Entertainment’s flagship Empire 25 theater in Times Square, including a 4:30 p.m. show. Tom jerry and nightly screenings of Boogie, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Wonder Woman 1984 Y Beginning – as Christopher Nolan’s photo posted on August 12 bends the laws of time New releases Raya and the last dragon Y Chaos walking They were big sales on the first day in the uptown AMC Magic Johnson.
An excited customer is New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang; will go out on a date night to celebrate. “That little, and let’s be honest, tacky sign in Los Angeles can’t hide the fact that New York is the true capital of entertainment. So get your popcorn ready, folks, because theaters are back in action and it’s date night at the Yang house, “the former Democratic presidential candidate said in a press release. It will arrive at the AMC Empire, but did not say which movie.
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But at 25% capacity, the limit set by Governor Andrew Cuomo, sold-out shows don’t mean what they used to do. When Cuomo announced the reopening on February 22, he limited theaters to one in four available seats and no more than 50 people. There are a lot of X’s on the seating chart. If you book at an AMC, the system automatically locks the seats on both sides.
Imax CEO Rich Gelfond, who lives in New York, said he is pleased that theaters are opening and that he will be going, but not for a week and a half. You are busy and not expecting a financial bonanza. “With the capacity constraints, I think the numbers are too small to be meaningful.” A sold out show? “That’s 50 people” maximum, he told Deadline. “Most importantly, New York is the media capital of the world and you cannot launch a blockbuster without the cultural excitement that this city emanates.”
New York theater owners have waited a long time for this. He waited and waited, awaiting each Cuomo press conference with bated breath and growing disgusted as business after business, from indoor dining to bowling alleys to gyms, got the green light to reopen.
AMC, the world’s largest exhibitor and second in the US after Regal, today opened its 13 locations in New York City promising “an enhanced theater experience” and an emphasis on health and safety. The chain, which flirted with bankruptcy for much of last year, “is thrilled to welcome our New York City guests to AMC’s great seats, great sounds and giant screens,” said the CEO. Adam Aron. The chain has opened more than 500 theaters across the country.
Regal, which closed all of its theaters in the United States in October, said it is “encouraged” by the move from New York but will remain in the dark, including the giant Regal E-Walk directly across 42nd Street from AMC. Empire. “We expect the capacity restrictions to be expanded to 50% or more so that we can operate profitably,” said a representative from Regal.
Alamo Drafthouse, the specialty chain that filed for Chapter 11 earlier this week to sell itself to a group of investors, said it is “very excited to have the opportunity to bring what we have learned about creating the safest and most secure movie experience. relaxing as possible to our flagship Brooklyn location. “It wasn’t for today:” There’s a lot to do, but we hope to reopen City Point as soon as possible, and we’ll be making a lot of noise when we do. “
According to distribution sources, 49 theaters are scheduled to be active this weekend out of a total of 133 active locations in New York (not including some theaters in New Jersey and Connecticut that accumulate under the New York DMA). Some 84 theaters will be inactive this weekend; 24 of them are Regal locations.
Los Angeles, the largest film market in the country, is also slowly moving toward opening cinemas. The closure of New York and Los Angeles, which account for a combined 12% -14% of the US box office, has been attributed to studios failing to meet their release schedules. That dragged the entire display because even intrepid moviegoers in areas where theaters were open and that weren’t restricted by pandemic nervousness had little new to do.
As vaccines are more efficiently deployed and Covid-19 cases decline in New York (and nationally), some in the industry think New York City could increase capacity from 25% to 50% relatively early, maybe in May or June. Theaters in the rest of New York State are now open at 50% capacity.
But in a changing pandemic equation, Europe is now recovering more slowly than the US And some fear it could keep the emissions list ever-changing. Yesterday Universal’s F9 was expelled, for the third time, from May to June, and Minions: The Rise of Gru moved one year to July 2022. (Paramount’s A quiet place, part II went up, taking the F9 space).
Theaters in England will not reopen until May 17. In Germany, under a five-step process, cinemas can reopen from March 22 at the earliest. Italy has set a date for March 27. France does not have a reopening set. “I think the United States will be in good shape in May from a public perception point of view,” Gelfond said. Other countries “are a little behind and a little slower.”
Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this report.