At just three movie theaters in San Antonio, Texas, some 3,000 ticket-buyers showed up during the first open weekend since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Tickets were discounted to just $5.41, and on the 19 screens in those three theaters, the offerings were only older titles — Trolls World Tour, Bloodshot, I Still Believe, The Hunt, and Bad Boys for Life. So while roughly $9,000 in ticket sales would not normally make the news, when you consider the discount ticket price, the lack of fresh titles, and the fact America is still dealing with a plague, this is being seen as a good sign people are eager to return to normal, and normal means a weekend trip to the movies.
Texas is one of the few states that allowed movie theaters to open up. The theaters are, however, required to limit capacity to just 25 percent. This means that every other seating row is closed off, and in the open rows, customers are kept six feet apart. If you come as a couple or party, you are allowed to sit together.
The concession stands are open, but no refills are allowed.
A Hollywood executive told the far-left Hollywood Reporter that this news “shows me there is a pent-up demand.”
The news is undoubtedly a good sign, and when you look at those titles, it is pretty safe to assume those Texans went to the movies just to go to the movies again, to feel normal again. Every one of those titles is already available through video on demand, and has been for awhile.
This news combined with the near-swarming of beaches (whether those beaches are authorized to open or not) does show a “pent-up demand,” a phrase President Trump has repeatedly used to describe his view of a future when the lockdowns end and the economy recovers by way of an explosion of activity and commerce.
We can only hope.
In the end, though, this is going to be a game of chicken… In order to truly test the waters, some Big Studio is going to have to take the risk of releasing a Big Movie… Will it be Disney’s Mulan or Marvel’s (also Disney) Black Widow? Who’s going to take the plunge to test the waters, especially with a title that needs to clean up worldwide in order to just break even?
As it stands, Christopher Nolan’s latest epic, Tenet, is scheduled to go first on July 17, followed by Mulan on July 27, and Wonder Woman 1984 on August 14.
Those are the only blockbusters on the summer calendar right now. This could change depending on how things go. What I mean is that those three titles could be pulled by skittish studios, or if those titles do well, if moviegoers return in throngs due to a pent-up demand, the massive holes in that summer schedule could be filled by a Black Widow (currently reschedule for November) and others.
It’s hard to imagine a summer with only three blockbusters.
A lot of what happens at the movies will depend on how savvy Americans are to the realistic threat of the coronavirus. As I have pointed out countless times in the past, it doesn’t really matter when things reopen. There’s no vaccine and there’s no risk of our health care system crashing, so it will be no safer to reopen in July than it is today.
Since we’re unlikely to see a vaccine in the next 12 to 18 months (if ever), unless you are willing to quarantine for at least another year, there’s no point in not returning to normal as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean you should be reckless. Masks, hand washing, and social distancing are good ideas.
Nevertheless, no one — not the scientists, not the Democrat governors holding their states in lockdowns — has been able to explain to the public what the public health benefit is to locking us down one day longer than today.
If the world is not going to be any safer two weeks, two months, or a year from now, why not reopen now? Why not return to normality now?
Of course, the fake news media have shifted the goal posts from us locking down to slow the spread of the virus as a means to keep our medical system from crashing (which makes total sense), to this absurd notion that we must now stay closed to save as many lives as we can.
If Americans fall for that ridiculous standard, movie-going will never return because we may never have a cure, which means it will never be any safer to return to normal than it is right now.
According to the media’s dumb standard of locking down to save lives, we can never return to normal until its 100 percent safe, and even a vaccine cannot make us 100 percent safe. That absurd mindset will kill the movies forever.
Of course, there’s always this solution.