The impact of COVID-19 on the global cinema business (as at 8/6/20)

Cinemas in Belgium will be allowed to re-open from 1 July, as part of Phase 3 of its lockdown ending plan. There is a maximum restriction of 200 people in the auditorium and wearing face masks is strongly advised by Belgian government guidelines.

Belgian and European exhibitor Kinepolis has begun a phased re-opening of its cinemas, beginning with 18 locations in Netherlands from 1 June. This will be followed by Spain (5 June), Switzerland (6 June), Luxembourg (17 June) and France (22 June).

The Irish government has brought forward the start of Phase 4 of the re-opening plan, which includes cinemas, from 10 August to 20 July. This is three days after Tenet is scheduled to release in the USA.

Russian government has said that cinemas will be able to re-open from mid-July, this is as part of Phase 2 of re-opening and well before theatres and concert halls. The date will vary by region. 

AMC Entertainment has opened its first sites, with Odeon Cinemas (a unit of AMC) opening three sites in Norway on 3 June, with a further six scheduled for opening in the two weeks after that. Cinemas will programme library titles for the time being.

In the USA, OMDIA research shows that 16 States have already set a date for re-opening cinemas, although not including New York and California, and two States never officially shut down cinemas, making eighteen States allowed to re-open in total.

According to OMDIA’s screen tracker, around 60,000 screens are already scheduled to be open for the release of Tenet on 17 July. This figure will grow as and when USA and China open up more. Signs from China suggest that the authorities are preparing for a re-opening. 

Also in China, a third survey from entertainment platform Maoyan Entertainment showed that the proportion of respondents to the survey wanting to get back to cinemas has been growing month by month. According to this latest survey, the proportion of movie goers what wanted to return to cinemas rose to 88% in May, up from 72% in March, and 54% in February. Of the respondents, 70% believed that June was an appropriate timing for a return to cinemas and 80% of those replying had returned to work.

The survey was conducted by Maoyan Research Institute at the end of May, and targeted movie ticket buyers and not all consumers. A total of 1,548 replied.