How Hollywood Plans to Market the Reopening of Movie Theatersby Ethan Anderton
While we’re not sure if movie theaters will be opening their doors in time to get Christopher Nolan’s Tenet into theaters by the proposed July 17 release date (or if Warner Bros. will even release it), it’s very likely that they’ll at least be back in business by sometime in August. But how will movie theaters convince audiences to come back? They’ll be getting help in the form of a major marketing campaign with the support of all the major movie studios, some big name stars, and even their Hollywood agencies.
Variety has details on the movie theaters reopening strategy that is being spearheaded by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the biggest agencies in Hollywood. They’ve been helping put together “an executive committee of entertainment industry heavyweights” who will help strategize on how to best market the reopening of movie theaters to make everyone feel safe and secure about returning to the silver screen. Former IMAX CEO Greg Foster is overseeing the effort.
If you need any further proof to see how desperate movie studios are to get theaters reopened, all seven of the major movie studios are working together. The theaters themselves are desperate too, because the largest theater chains have also agreed to collaborate, and the National Association of Theatre Owners will be providing the marketing material. They’ve even made sure to get the legal sign-off to work together after concerns that such a large united corporate strategy might violate anti-trust laws.
As for what the marketing material will entail, CAA will be bringing in some of their A-list filmmakers and movie stars to help with the campaign. They’ll appear in commercials that will implore audiences to return to theaters by reassuring them of all the safety precautions that will be taken, from social distancing measures in seating to increased cleaning efforts all over theaters. Of course, this is all early in the stages of development, and details are subject to change as they continue to figure things out.
One thing that will hopefully help get audiences back into theaters is the return of some older hit movies. That’s how movie theaters reopened in China and other international markets that have started to reopen theaters. In fact, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, and Sony are already offering those repertory screenings with some big discounts for movie theaters. You can likely expect to see a marketing push from those studios to advertise which movies they’re bringing back. The hope is that these screenings of older movies will get some audiences into theaters and allow them to test their safety measures in order to appease concerned crowds who might wait a bit longer before coming back to theaters.
As of now, the only movies on the schedule for a July release in theaters are Unhinged with Russell Crowe, hoping for a July 1 debut (that probably won’t come together). Tenet is still on track for July 17 (for now), and Disney is still sticking with the rescheduled release date of July 24 for Mulan.
We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for more information about movie theaters reopening as it becomes available.