A Regal Theater franchise in Orange County is hoping that the remodel on the facility, completed during the six-month coronavirus closure, will help bring the crowds back as they and other theaters begin the reopening process. The movie industry has suffered along with many other sectors of the arts. Many films have been delayed due to the struggle of trying to bring the casts together for filming, and other vital crew members that help make them a success.
Without new movie releases, times have been made more difficult for theaters across the country despite some reopenings. They are struggling to keep attendance numbers up because of capacity limits of 25-50% in each showing, and the fact that consumers still have concerns about the virus and would rather stream movies at home to reduce risk of infection. Some theaters may even shorten opening hours, or close permanently, the last resort.
The three biggest film markets: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, that account for 20% of the national box office tickets are still closed for the most part. Many regular visitors remain unaware that their local theater is open or feel uncomfortable returning to theaters to see a movie. As of right now, 70% of the US has reopened theaters, with 35 states allowing every theater to reopen, and others allowing gradual reopening. New York, New Mexico, and North Carolina are the only states that still have all theaters closed.
Many different factors will have to be in play to ensure a successful revival of the film industry. More, and newer, films must be released to entice the public to come back, and more state theater markets have to open. It is pivotal that Los Angeles and New York open, so that movie studios can be confident about releasing the biggest and most expensive films they have made. There are a myriad of films that require both national and international theater market openings to be successful. Wonder Woman 1984 is an example, as the prequel, Wonder Woman, received more than half of its $822 million total gross from the domestic North American market.
When the public feels safe and comfortable, and there are new films for them to see, they come flocking back to the theaters at full force. To ensure that everyone enjoys their experience, the Regal in Orange County is posting social distancing and mask reminders and extending the time between screenings of a film by 30 minutes to allow for cleaning and disinfecting. No one is quite sure when the theater market will return to normal, but industry leaders are hopeful that the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine will accelerate a full comeback.
To find out more about how COVID-19 has impacted the film industry, check out the original article on the Los Angeles Times website.
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