Cinemark, for instance, lost $208 million in the first quarter of 2021. Yet, “Today I am pleased to report that we are now actively on the road to recovery,” the company’s chief executive, Mark Zoradi, said during an earnings call.
Today in Business
There are reasons for moviegoers to be excited, too. “Fast and Furious 9” debuts on June 25. (It opens in China this weekend.) The musical “In the Heights,” adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show, will open June 11. Marvel’s “Black Widow” comes out on July 9, while Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” will open on July 30. (Both will also be immediately available on Disney+ for an additional price, a detail left out of Wednesday’s presentation.)
According to the exhibition research firm National Research Group, as of Monday some 70 percent of moviegoers are comfortable to returning to the theater. The box office for April hit $190 million, up 300 percent since February. That’s a welcome relief to the South African director Neill Blomkamp, whose new horror film “Demonic” from the indie outfit IFC will debut only in theaters at the end of August.
“This brings me joy,” he said in a video message. “I want people to be terrified in a darkened theater.”
One benefit of the pandemic has been a more flexible approach to how films are released. For years, exhibitors demanded roughly 72 to 90 days of exclusive theatrical exhibition before a film could become available on a streaming service or through premium video-on-demand. The pandemic has collapsed that, with the new window of exclusivity sitting at 45 days.
For Ms. Taylor, who joined Alamo at the end of April 2020, after more than two years as president and chief operating officer of United Planet Fitness Partners, the antiquated relationship between the theater chains and the studios has surprised her, even during a pandemic.
“Studios 1,000 percent control the product,” she said. “And, as an exhibitionist you have no control. That’s really difficult.”