March 18, 2020
In response to precautions being taken to avoid spread of the coronavirus, AMC Theatres announced that, as of yesterday, it is closing its U.S. locations for at least 6-12 weeks while remaining flexible to comply with CDC and government guidelines. “AMC Stubs A-List members will automatically have their accounts paused” for the period of closure (without billing or payments), while film fans “are encouraged to continue the AMC movie-watching experience through AMC Theatres On Demand.” AMC joins Regal Cinemas, which announced earlier that it would be closing all its theater locations “until further notice.”
Regal operates 549 theaters with 7,211 screens in 42 U.S. states, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan.
According to TechCrunch, “AMC currently operates 661 theaters in the States, comprising more than 8,000 screens. The move is major, but not unexpected, as people and companies deal with the realities of living through a pandemic. Movie attendance has already begun dropping shortly as people have begun to practice social distancing.”
AMC joins others in recommending online alternatives. Yesterday, we reported that NBCUniversal announced its plans to offer new film releases such as “Emma,” “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man” and “Trolls World Tour” on-demand. The company’s Universal Pictures and Focus Features plans to release new titles via popular on-demand services. “Others will likely follow suit in the wake of these major closures,” suggests TechCrunch.
AMC Theatres On Demand offers more than 3,500 titles for rent or purchase, “including recent and popular titles from every major studio,” notes the press release. “AMC Theatres On Demand can be accessed online through AMC’s website, through AMC’s mobile app, and through several smart TV apps.”
“We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theaters in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health authorities,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron.
Studio’s Movies in Theaters Will Be Offered for In-Home Rental, The New York Times, 3/13/20
Netflix, Disney Stop Production on Projects in Precautionary Coronavirus Measures, The Verge, 3/13/20
Since You Can’t Go Out, Hollywood Is Letting You Watch a Few New Movies at Home, Recode, 3/16/20
Regal Is Closing All Theaters ‘Until Further Notice’ Over COVID-19 Fears, TechCrunch, 3/16/20