Hello everyone!! Taking a moment to check in and see how our friends have all been since we last spoke. 2020 will forever be one of the very worst years in our lifetimes. This pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways, and we hope that each person here has been able to effectively manage the crisis, is healthy, and is safe!

As we all are aware, the theater industry came to a grinding halt just prior to Summer 2020… but there became signs of life as certain markets opened back up starting in August. The theater chains that were able to survive the summer lockdowns devised plans to help protect their customer base, to then lure in moviegoers with re-releases of older hit films. The 10th anniversary of Inception in IMAX became the first big attempt re-introduce normalcy.

Personally speaking, I was excited for theaters to open back up. The concerns with going back into an indoor environment with other customers were very real, but my own mindset was that if my own city wasn’t struggling, and AMC could both introduce and enforce rules for safety (including masks, social distancing, and limited ticket sales), AND I could sit away from the crowd in only large auditoriums, I would be fine. And if I didn’t like what I was seeing… I was outta there. Here in northeast Florida AMC finally re-opened in late August, and I was there to see Inception in IMAX. And quite honsestly to my surprise… I was the ONLY person there for that showing. One seat filled smack in the center of a giant empty IMAX auditoroum. The theater itself was a ghost-town, and I couldn’t tell if it was due to the pandemic or the fact that the movie was a re-release. Fast forward two more days and I’m seeing the longggg-delayed The New Mutants in a crowd of about 40 people. But just as AMC had designed, once you select your seat no one else can sit right next to you in any direction. Being masked up in my private bubble of empty seats, I felt more confident that this would work. Later that week… Tenet. The next night… Raiders of the Lost Ark (my #1 favorite movie of all time). Honest Thief. Wonder Woman. Die Hard (top-5 all time movie for me). Wonder Woman 1984. Monster Hunter. Alien.

The movies originally scheduled for Summer 2020 saw many different destinations, with streaming becoming the most controversial, particularly when it came to the decision of Premium Video On Demand (Mulan). Some studios cashed in quickly to ensure some kind of revenue (Greyhound), others held firm to a theatrical release no matter the financial consequences (Tenet), while others continue to resist the temptation of streaming to ensure future box office grosses (Black Widow). Distributors have not been thrilled (to say the least) with the decision-making of some studios, and an attempt to please most everyone was the strategy for WW84 opening ‘day and date’ with theatrical + HBO Max. Based on that “success” there is now a long-term plan for 2021 Warner Bros. movies to be released with the same rollout. Good for both HBO Max customers and moviegoers.

Below was our list of 2020 Summer movies and where they eventially wound up. Many of these are currently listed for Summer 2021, so we’ll see how that shakes out.

Mulan (orig 3/9/20) -> 7/24/20 -> 8/21/20 -> Disney+ PVOD 9/4/20

Black Widow (5/1/20) -> 11/6/20 -> 5/7/21

Greyhound (5/8/20) -> 6/12/20 -> Apple TV+ 7/10/20

The Woman In the Window (5/15/20) -> Netflix 2021

Scoob! (5/15/20) – HBO Max 6/26/20

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On the Run (5/22/20) -> 8/14/20 ($4.8M) + PVOD 2021

F9 (5/22/20) -> 4/2/21 -> 5/28/21

Wonder Woman 1984 (6/5/20) -> 10/2/20 -> 12/25/20 ($39.2M) + HBO Max

Soul (6/19/20) -> 11/20/20 -> Disney+ 12/25/20

Top Gun: Maverick (6/26/20) -> 12/23/20 -> 7/2/21

In the Heights (6/26/20) – 6/18/21 + HBO Max

Free Guy (7/3/20) -> 12/11/20 -> 5/21/21

Minions: The Rise of Gru (7/3/20) -> 7/2/21

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (7/10/20) -> 3/5/21 -> 6/11/21 -> 11/11/21

Tenet (7/17/20) -> 7/31/20 -> 8/12/20 -> 9/3/20 ($57.9M)

Jungle Cruise (7/24/20) -> 7/30/21

Morbius (7/10/20) -> 7/31/20 -> 3/19/21 -> 10/8/21 -> 1/21/22

Bill & Ted Face the Music (8/21/20) -> 8/14/20 -> 8/28/20 -> 9/1/20 -> 8/27/20 ($3.4M) + PVOD

With 2020 now behind us and vaccinations in effect, there is hope that we will have a Summer 2021 season. But we have a long way to go before it can be determined if there will be a SMP 2021. At this moment I count approx. 20 summer movies that are SMP-worthy… but it remains to be seen if they will hold their dates. We will let this play out a bit longer before making a decision, so keep your fingers crossed!

With so much sadness, anxiety and frustration all around us these days we plan to do our best to make this movie site as enjoyable as possible as an escape from the madness 😀

– SB

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