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Movie Theaters Struggle to Survive Without Blockbusters

Movie theater executives don’t usually quote Winston Churchill on earnings calls.

But during his company’s most recent quarterly report to analysts, AMC chief Adam Aron dusted off one of the prime minister’s most famous speeches to describe the financial cataclysm engulfing the exhibition industry and the resilient spirit he hopes will rise up to meet the challenge.

“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” Aron said.

A touch melodramatic? Perhaps, but Aron is correct in noting that cinemas have never faced a threat as grave as COVID-19. In 2020, theatrical box office revenue will plummet 65.6% to an estimated $15.5 billion, the worst result in decades.

But then, on Nov. 9, there was something of a deus ex machina. News broke that Pfizer had

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Now That New York Movie Theaters Can Open, Will Blockbusters Follow?

After months of nearly constant bad news — theater closures, movie postponements, “Tenet!” — the film industry last week finally received a glimmer of good news: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that cinemas outside of NYC can start reopening on Friday.

Hollywood studios have made it clear that blockbusters won’t return until cinemas in New York and California, two influential movie markets in the U.S., can reopen. So Saturday’s news was seen by many in the exhibition community as a momentous step forward.

In recent weeks, movie theater owners have been pleading with Cuomo to allow them to resume operations as indoor dining, gyms and other establishments have started to welcome back patrons. They argued that New York was not an island unto itself — and having those theaters offline hindered the entire entertainment industry’s chance for a large-scale moviegoing revival.

“It has become clear that movie studios are

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