SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, May 28, San Francisco released opening dates for movie theaters as part of Mayor London Breed’s new schedule for reopening and moving into phase three. The move comes as many big summer films like “Tenet” and “Mulan” prepare for release.
Movie theaters around the Bay Area are set to open in mid-August, but AMC has stated that it will only reopen its theaters if there are movies to show. “Tenet” was set to premiere on July 17, and Disney’s “Mulan” on July 24, but these will now be premiered in August following the reopening of local theaters.
San Francisco, one of the country’s major box-office markets is the first to report a specific timeline for movie theater re-openings. Other major box office cities, such Los Angeles and New York, have yet to follow.
In a report that was released Friday, May 29, B Riley FBR analyst Eric Wold stated: “Note that San Francisco represents the first of the three major box office cities to actually provide somewhat of a specific date for the movie theater re-openings – with this date coming after the first two key movies currently scheduled to be released following the COVID-19 shutdowns.”
If movie theaters reopen, the success of their business depends on films being released by movie studios. If there are no major titles being released, delaying release dates might prove to be a better option for theaters than opening and generating little revenue.
“We assume studios are closely watching for any adverse changes in major market reopening time frames and/or moviegoer demand levels in early reopening states. We may be in a situation where no studio wants to be first out of the gate even if they have a lack of competition-because an unsuccessful theatrical release would be more painful to the bottom line than delaying the release date before any major marketing spend has occurred,” said Wold.